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Jun 19, 2012 09:16 AM

Your august opinions please?

Hello-I've spent most of my early morning reading this board and you guys are a really insightful and funny bunch of hounds.

I was reading here in order to plan a couple of days worth of eating in Manhattan and I've gleaned a lot of good information already. But I'd also like to put to you my specific scenario for your comments and suggestion.

My husband I are flying in to JFK on Wednesday nights red eye from SFO. We'll be staying at the Grand Hyatt adjacent to Grand Central. We'll have all day and evening Thursday and then on Friday morning will go up to Connecticut until Saturday evening when we'll return t the city and the Hyatt for are last night before taking a 10 am flight home.

About us-we're mid forties, I work in the restaurant industry and my husband is in high-tech (because well that's what almost everyone does out here now) but he loves to cook and to eat (lucky me :-)
In the past few years when in New York we have really enjoyed The Modern, Grammercy Tavern, Saam Noodle bar, Triptych. Out here we love Serpentine, Eureka!, Boulevard, Le Garage, Lers Ros, The mozzarella a la minute at Tra Vigne, The way The Martini House used to be, Chez Spencer.

Our limitations-my husband has one of those walking casts on his foot so I don't want to drag him hither and yon as I typically do when we visit your great city. I'd like to see a show-either Lincoln Center (War Horse) or Broadaway (Likely Peter and the Star Catchers or Other Desert Cities(my husband has a thing for Stockard Channing-but who doesn't? Less likely Clybourne Park) Show choice can be predicated on restaurant choice I'd just like to be able to walk because my husband will become anxious if he thinks we'll have to look for a cab and get to a show before curtain.
Saturday we'll likely not be able t be back to the city and at a restaurant until about 8:30. I haven't check the metro north schedule yet though.

So far I have been leaning towards Oceana for pre-theater because several of you recommend it highly and I'd love some good Eastern seafood. But could be swayed in another direction. For Saturday I booked Felidia, but I'm really uncertain about this choice. This meal is a gift from my boss and he's encouraged me to do a little R & D so I'm feeling pressure to try something newer, or more interesting, or I'm just not sure....

There is also lunch on Thursday and I'm really nowhere with that yet. I kind of lean towards Asian or fusion or really good pizza (but think maybe it'll be easier to get really good pizza in CT)

Can ya'll help?

Again I've really enjoyed reading your posts this morning, there's nothing really like a New York sense of humor but a New York sense of humor is there?

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  1. If you decide to see "War Horse," the perfect place to dine is at Lincoln Ristorante. The contemporary Italian cuisine via Executive Chef Jonathan Benno (formerly chef de cuisine at Per Se) is delicious. And given your husband's walking situatioin, the theater and Lincoln are adjacent to one another.

    Photos of our pre-ballet dinner this past weekend at Lincoln:

    In perusing this board, you may have seen that Oceana is our favorite fish/seafood restaurant. Obviously, imo, an excellent choice if you get B'way theater tickets.

    Photos of our recent post-theater late supper at Oceana:

    We've never been to Felidia though it's been on my "go to" list forever. If you do Lincoln, I don't see doing another Italian. If you want to do French, I would suggest La Grenouille, the last of the Grandes Dames of haute classic cuisine. Very different from Kreuther's cuisine at The Modern, which we like a lot.

    Photos of our recent lunch at La Grenouille:

    2 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Your photos are lovely. I especialy love the ones of the Baba in your top link and the table setting in the bottom link. I hadn't even thought of Le Grenouille but it would sure make my husband happy he's a real culinary Francophile. Thank you for the suggestion.

      1. re: artychokeasana

        You're very welcome. And thanks for the compliment. I hope you and your husband have a wonderful time during your visit.

    2. We recently ate at Felidia and found it to be as wonderful as it always is. Others on CH may say differently, but we love this place. Yes, the decor may be a bit "old school" but the food is fresh and delicious and the service is impeccable. Of course you can find "something newer, or more interesting, or I'm just not sure...." but why put so much pressure on yourself? Just go and enjoy.

      1. For your lunch on Thursday, you could do Momofuku Ssam Bar's all duck lunch menu. Or you could easily get a table at Motorino, for pizza.

        1. I go along with your choices. Oceana is a good seafood choice, Le Bernadin is too time consuming and is an evening in itself, so forget that for seafood. Esca is another fish choice only a few blocks from the Broadway theaters. Another, not as good as Oceana for seafood, but acceptable is Bluefin.
          I've never been to Lincoln but it sounds perfect as well.
          La Grenouille I think is a great restaurant, Jean-Georges is a favorite of mine, but time might be a problem. For pizza, I like kathryn's pick of Motorino, but another good choice would be Co. (Company) in West 20's. I think both are better than Connecticut's pizza. If you are in New Canaan , Ct. Harvest Supper is a great place to eat. ( Jack & Grace Lamm's of Jewel Bako). For Asian style lunch, you might want to try Robataya, where you can mix meat and seafood and veggies. A really fun place to eat good Japanese cooked food.

          1. Reporting back. Boy it was hot and humid in your fair city last weekend! We bagged the play and instead did a late afternoon ferry ride/tour around the bottom of Manhattan. I'd never done one - it was interesting and cooling. We stayed with our dinner choice for that evening despite not going to the theater and had a wonderful meal at Oceana. The food was really very good as was the service. The staff was very knowledgible about both the wine list and every dish we asked about. Our favorites were the dozen oysters we started with-each was beautifully shucked and clasically presented and our main courses. I had the General Tso's lobster and my husband the sword fish and braised short rib surf and turf. I had been concerned that my dish would be a bit of a party trick dish but when I voiced my concern our server said (quite playfully) ""you don't get a michelin star with party tricks" I ordered it and really liked it-the flavors and play of textures were well thought out and executed.

            We initially had reservations at Felidia for Saturday (I felt quite at peace with this in no small measure due to Mangiare24's comment) but switched when and old friend and her new boyfriend asked to join us but weren't wild about Felidia. So we went to their choice which was hearth in the East Village. It too was very good. We ate family style and started with their Salumi the had roasted pork, whole black bass, roasted and braised lamb and gnocchi I recall evrything being really perfectly cooked and seasoned but we drank quite a bit of wine so there is a little fuzz around the edges of the evening.

            Three other things of note. We went to Peacok Alley when we arrived in the city-we'd taken the red eye and our room was not yet ready so I thought a luxurious hotel breakfast would be in order. I was underwhelmed. While the food was well executed and I learned that Eggs Benedict were borh nere I was underwhelmed. I know I should have been more appreciative of the architechture but I really ultimately felt like I was eating in a hotel coffee shop-which I guess I was.

            We went to 48nyc for cocktails and snacks and liked it-though they call a Chivas, sweet vermouth and bitters a NYC Manhattan and not a Rob Roy and that seems odd to me. Their truffled tater tots were fun. We also went to Angel Watch after hearth-for a cocktail I really didn't need (see my comment above about fuzz.) But I was really taken with it-it felt like a modern day Chumley's with better etiquette.

            Thanks for the pizza suggestions, we ended up at one of the Original Ray's which was just fine for our needs. Though I really would have liked to have tried Kathryn's Motorino suggestion.

            In Connecticut I was in Westport and while Harvest Supper looked interesting I was more intrigued by The Whelk in Westport but ultimately we ended up eating at home for dinner and having Stu Leonard's lobster rolls one day at take out Oscar's by the swimming pool the next how's that for a classic Connecticut experience :-).

            So thanks all for your suggestions. I'll come back to the New York board more often both because you guys are fun to read and because I really appreciated your suggestions.

            1 Reply
            1. re: artychokeasana

              I think you did good in going to Hearth instead of Felidia.