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Jun 19, 2012 02:24 PM

Hard to choose where to eat in Manhattan

I've been lurking around this board, working out the best places to eat during an upcoming (woefully) short trip to NYC. Obviously, I have taken much of the advice listed in previous postings, but if anyone has time to critique our schedule, I'd be happy to hear your comments.

We have to take a day off to go to Long Island for a wedding, but otherwise we will be trying to sample as much amazing food as possible while we are in town. I don't want to say that money is no object, but we have basically decided to enjoy ourselves as much as humanly possible on this trip, given that we probably won't be back anytime soon.

Wed. lunch - EMP (Starting off at the top!)

Wed. dinner - Daniel (after hanging out at Top of the Rock)

[ Thursday - Wedding ]

Friday lunch - Del Posto

[ Friday dinner - Wedding after party ]

Saturday lunch - ?? Somewhere near the Natural History Museum would be ideal, or we can just buy and eat pastries all day...

Saturday dinner - The NoMad?

Sunday lunch - Per Se

Sunday dinner - ?? Maybe Craft?

We are also hoping to grab a slice of Momofuku's fabled crack pie, though I have heard rumours that since they now bake them in a central location, rather than on site, the pie is not quite the same. Any truth to this?

I also have a soft spot for a really great doughnut/beignet, so please recommend places where we can get these - I will thank you even if my butt does not. You'll notice I don't have any breakfast/brunches built into the schedule.

Extra special bonus to recommendations for places near the Chelsea area. Thanks all!

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  1. Great itinerary.

    Donut: The brioche donuts filled with nutella at Dessert Truck are amazing. Also try the beignets at the Modern Bar Room. Alison Eighteen had beignets filled with lemon curd which were delicious (not sure if they still have it).

    Near Chelsea:

    15 East

    Saturday lunch near NHM: how about Salumeria Rosi, then grab some snacks at Levain (choc chip cookie) and Jacques Torres

    Sunday dinner: Babbo, Marea, or Lincoln

    3 Replies
    1. re: Riverman500

      Another good place to grab desserts/snacks nearby would be Epicurie Boulud.

      1. re: Riverman500

        Salumeria Rosi sounds absolutely perfect! Great recommendation. Do you think I need to make a reservation for lunch, or can you just walk in and get a sandwich pretty easily?

        1. re: StarryFork

          You don't need to make a res at Salumeria for lunch. Just walk in and enjoy. The lasagna is good there. Grom gelato is two blocks away on Broadway.

      2. When is this happening? Do you already have the reservations for the restaurants without question marks? Once you tell us that, it will be easier to offer advice.

        6 Replies
        1. re: RGR

          Timing is end of June/early July. I do already have reservations for the restaurants without question marks :)

          1. re: StarryFork

            When we do a major lunch as you are doing on Wednesday, I could never book a place like Daniel for dinner. But if you can handle it, great!

            The one time we've been to Per Se, it was for lunch on a Sunday. We didn't finish until nearly 5 p.m., and didn't become hungry until many hours later. Craft is a good choice if you think you'll be hungry before 10 p.m., which is when they stop taking reservations on Sunday. Another good option is Minetta Tavern, which serves until 1 a.m.

            Presuming the date for dinner at The NoMad is June 30, OpenTable is showing either very early (5:30 p.m.) or late (10 p.m. and after). If The NoMad doesn't pan out for you, I highly recommend Tocqueville (located on the cusp of Chelsea).


            1. re: RGR

              Thanks RGR, I agree with your worry RE doubling up on heavy lunches and dinners. Starting to reconsider Daniel for sure, especially if it's not possible to order a la carte.

              I did go ahead and book Saturday early dinner at The NoMad.

              Thanks for the info RE your lunch at Per Se. Since ours is a late lunch on the Sunday, and we are flying out very late Sunday night, I don't think I will book anything for Sunday dinner, and we can just pick up a snack to eat that evening if required.

              1. re: StarryFork

                You're very welcome, StarryFork. I'm pleased that you found what I had to say helpful.

                I see from your post below that you are going to ditch Daniel. A wise move, I think, especially since your lunch reservation is late, and I'm guessing you are going to do the tasting menu?

                Good move as well not booking anything for Sunday evening and maybe getting a snack.

                Glad you've reserved at The NoMad. You've probably seen that it just received 3 stars in the NY Times.


                1. re: RGR

                  I did not see that The NoMad got 3 stars in the NY Times. Good thing I booked that table already!

                  So the revised itinerary is as follows:

                  Wed. lunch - EMP (late lunch)

                  Wed. dinner - treats from Bouchon Bakery in lieu of dinner

                  Thursday lunch - Modern Bar Room (for doughnuts!)

                  [ Thursday dinner - wedding ]

                  Friday lunch - Del Posto

                  [ Friday dinner - Wedding after party ]

                  Saturday lunch - Salumeria Rosi

                  Saturday dinner - The NoMad

                  Sunday lunch - Per Se

                  Sunday dinner - assorted baked goods in lieu of dinner

                  Thanks again for all the great advice and direction, I'll be sure to report back after the trip to let you all know how it went.

                  1. re: StarryFork

                    If you're going to Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center, you could also try Epicerie Boulud or the new Francois Payard branch on the corner of 58th and Broadway.

        2. Given that you won't be back any time soon, I'm surprised not to see Katz's Deli, Russ & Daughters, or a pizza place on your list.

          You have a lot of high end dining on your agenda; I would try to mix it up by including some more casual places as well as non-European cuisines. Txikito and 15 East are great calls.

          Since you have Per Se for lunch on Sunday, you might want to do small plates for a late dinner afterwards. To me, the obvious choice is Txikito in Chelsea for dinner. That way you can order according to your appetites. I just had an excellent meal at Craft (don't miss the pork trotter or the wagyu carpaccio, or the roasted mushrooms), but you might want something more casual after Per Se.

          Some other late night places that might work:
          The Breslin - midnight
          The John Dory - midnight
          Casa Mono - midnight
          Blue Ribbon - til 4am
          Momofuku Ssam Bar - midnight
          Fatty Cue - midnight
          Tertulia - 11:30pm
          Joseph Leonard - 2am
          Fedora - 2am
          Spotted Pig - 2am
          The Dutch - midnight
          Motorino - midnight
          Minetta Tavern - 1am
          Lupa - midnight
          Dell'anima - 2am
          Balthazar - midnight

          I second Salumeria Rosi for a lighter lunch near the AMNH. Don't miss the housemade porchetta (we ordered it the other night and the chef on duty complimented our taste). Their Finocchio salami (a peasant salami made with fennel) is also amazing.

          All of Momofuku Milk Bar's items are made in a central facility -- the Momofuku Milk Bar in Williamsburg. The items seem pretty much the same to me.

          2nd the beignets at Bar Room at the Modern. IIRC Craft has some great ones as well. Both have bar areas where you can drink in for a drink and a snack.

          You might also wish to visit the Doughnut Plant in Chelsea. I love their cake doughnuts and they have great seasonal flavors. Right now it's a mango doughnut.

          3 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            RE: skewing towards the higher end dining - it's so true. My fiance is all about the fine dining. Since I've already been to Katz' Deli, Shake Shack and some of the other more casual must-do locations, we're aiming for the high end places that we won't be able to take kids to if we do end up starting a family in the near future.

            I was worried about scheduling heavy dinners after big lunches as well... is it possible to order a la carte at Daniel, or is it all set menus? Looking at the website it is not very clear, certainly seems to be mostly prix fixe, in which case we should probably get something lighter.

            Thanks for the detailed doughnut info, I am now considering the possibility of doughnuts for dinner :D What could possibly be better?

            1. re: StarryFork

              Daniel is strictly prix-fixe in the dining room. The minimum is 3 courses. I've never eaten in the lounge. It's possible a la carte is offered there, but you'd have to inquire.


              1. re: RGR

                Thanks for the info, I suspect I will have to let that reservation go. Our reservation at EMP is on the late side as it is.

          2. Don't waste your time at Daniel...Unless you are VIP the food will be marginal at best...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Joebear1982

              +2 My wife & I would agree. Underwhelming at best.

              1. re: dynastar

                I third this. We actually sent two dishes back at Daniel the last time we went. So many other places to go, not worth it..

                Also second the vote for doughnut plant for doughnuts. Now they have a second location at 23rd Street. Creme brûlée doughnuts, seasonal doughnuts and cake doughnuts are all awesome.

                If you're having a light dinner at Time Warner, I recommend sitting at the bar at A Voce and getting some pasta (house-made and much better than the entrees there) and cassoncini (fried dough filled with creszenza cheese and swiss chard and served with prosciutto).