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Mother/Daughter NYC Trip: Couple of Questions

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cheapeatstochiceats Jun 21, 2012 06:43 PM

My mom and I are headed to New York for a week in July. We were just there last May and had a fabulous time eating at EMP, The Modern etc. but this trip we are going to skip this route!

I have already made a reservation at NoMad for dinner because we loved EMP and I am extremely excited to go. Luckily, I snagged a reservation before the NYT article came out! Our first night we are going to be eating at Peasant because we went last time and really enjoyed our food. Can anyone suggest more Italian restaurants like this? I consider Peasant more rustic Italian and less composed which we really enjoy.

We went to Osteria Morini last time which was good, but I am thinking about maybe going to Marea or Ai Fiori? Which one would people prefer? My mom is not a big fish lover, but she LOVES seafood.

We missed going to Locanda Verde last time so I made a reservation for Saturday brunch there. We also need brunch for Sunday, which will be our last meal before we head home. We went to Maialino for breakfast twice last time and loved it. We definitely want to go again but I think we will just go for breakfast and not brunch. I know Minetta Tavern is loved on this board, but my mom and I prefer having breakfast items rather than lunch items for brunch. Are the breakfast items just as good as the more lunch geared items?

We are also seeing Once at 8pm and I am considering going to Danji beforehand....Will there be a long wait if we get there around 6? Has anyone gone there recently and experienced long wait times? This is on a wednesday.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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    Pan RE: cheapeatstochiceats Jun 21, 2012 07:13 PM

    You're having a lot of Italian food!

    For whatever it's worth, so far, Ai Fiori is my current favorite restaurant in New York. I doubt either of you will have any trouble getting dishes you like. Their duck is great, and so is the pork loin, and the lamb is also very good. They have some spectacular seafood items. The Lobster Vellutata is wonderful, and the Bouillabaise is one of their very best dishes, and one of you would do well to order it; your mom would probably like it, even though from what I recall, it does have some fish in it, along with great seafood (as one would expect).

    All that said, I haven't been to Marea, but I think the advice you'll get from others who've been there and also to Lincoln is that Marea is really seafood-centric, but Lincoln is a better restaurant, overall. I think most of them will also say that Ai Fiori is a more consistently great restaurant than Marea.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pan
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      cheapeatstochiceats RE: Pan Jun 21, 2012 07:24 PM

      Yes, I know a lot of Italian. We just really enjoy really well done Italian which is something we cannot really get where we live.

      I just made a reservation at Ai Fiori after looking at the menu again. Definitely more composed Italian than someplace like Peasant but we loved L'Impero when it was still open and as I remember Michael White was the chef there at one point.

      1. re: cheapeatstochiceats
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        Pan RE: cheapeatstochiceats Jun 21, 2012 08:28 PM

        I had a memorable meal at L'Impero, too. Ai Fiori is better by a long shot, at least in my experience.

        I think it's great that you're going to a bunch of really good Italian restaurants. Just an observation. :-)

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      kathryn RE: cheapeatstochiceats Jun 21, 2012 08:03 PM

      I assume you've already been to Babbo? They also recently started serving lunch, so that could work out well.

      Dell'anima or L'artusi also might work -- these kind of straddle the line between rustic and composed. I think the raw dishes/crudo feel more composed than the other ones.

      From the Minetta Tavern brunch menu, I have had their latkes with poached eggs and smoked salmon, the French toast, the shirred eggs, the ham in hay with eggs and biscuits, and the the black pudding clafoutis. All very good, I'd say the French toast and ham in hay are my favorites. The bacon, duck hash, and pastries are good too.

      5 Replies
      1. re: kathryn
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        cheapeatstochiceats RE: kathryn Jun 21, 2012 08:39 PM

        We have been to Babbo. Unfortunately, we felt slightly underwhelmed when we went, however that was nearly five years ago. So maybe we should give it another try, lunch could definitely be an option.

        I've definitely looked at Dell'anima which sounds good, but I hadn't looked at L'Artusi. Really like the look of the menu...Do you have a favorite between the two?

        The latkes dish has kind of got me sold now. I am a sucker for latkes. I will definitely make a reservation there once I can, still have to wait a couple of days because it is too far in advance.

        1. re: cheapeatstochiceats
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          kathryn RE: cheapeatstochiceats Jun 21, 2012 08:51 PM

          Depends on the mood I'm in. Dell'anima is more dark/intimate but we love sitting outside on a nice day at one of the two-tops they have on the sidewalk (there's only a few). I think it's quite a bit smaller than L'artusi, so harder to walk in. L'artusi is bigger and more spacious. They also have two large counters they save for walk ins. Both are very good.

          1. re: kathryn
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            cheapeatstochiceats RE: kathryn Jun 21, 2012 09:00 PM

            Thank you so much for the detailed information! Sounds like you can't go bad either way.

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              Sneakeater RE: kathryn Jun 22, 2012 06:42 AM

              For some reason, although I know it's very similar, I think the food is just BETTER at Dell'anima. I'm probably fooling myself because I like the decor more, or because I want to believe that bigger is necessarily worse, or something. But I DO have that preference, FWIW.

              1. re: Sneakeater
                LeahBaila RE: Sneakeater Jun 22, 2012 06:47 AM

                Agreed.

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