Restaurant Recommendations - 8 days in NYC - September 2012
I'm going to be going to NYC for 8 days and would like some input on what people would recommend.
I have gone through most of the CH threads and this is what I've come up with. Please let me know if there is anything you would recommend adding or taking off.
I am looking for delicious food and it does not matter if it is cheap (and dirty) or expensive. If it is delicious please let me know :)
These first few are restaurants that I am quite sure I am going to (I know it will be hard to get reservations for a few). I think they should all be at the top of their game. If there are any that are better please let me know.
Brooklyn Fare Chefs Table
Eleven Madison Park
Di Fara Pizza
Pastrami reuben @ Katz
Cookies @ Levain
The rest of the list are restaurants which I am still thinking about and researching.
Momofuku Noodle Bar + Momofuku Ko + Momofuku Ssam Bar
Yasuda (everyone always prefers 15 east)
Are there are any particular restaurants that I have left out and should not be missed? Any hidden gems to look up? Any ethnic food restaurants recommended?
re: Tommy D.
Haha! I was actually going to ask for Sichuan recommendations!! I guess Szechuan Gourmet it is then!
I am planning to go to Sichuan (Chengdu) before my wedding in Shanghai in November. The Sichuan here in Vancouver is good but much worse than those I've had in Shanghai and Hong Kong (Da Ping Huo - private kitchen - 13 courses, $50 including tip). I think it's the effort they put in over there (plus better ingredients and more knowledgeable chefs where each dish is not just spicy but flavourful and different tasting from all the others).
Here's a list of my favorites:
I would also add/recommend:
Russ and Daughters
Pearl Oyster Bar
Second Mission Chinese, for sure.
Manzo, maybe, if you can't get into Babbo.
Degustation has a new chef, I haven't seen many reviews.
Blanca hasn't started taking new reservations yet. They will on Aug 1st. You do have some hard to get into spots on your list.
This is a very good list. On your "maybe" list, there are some that I would recommend a lot more than others -- esp. Momofuku Ko/Ssam bar, Maialino, Babbo, Kurumazushi, Co., Jean Georges.
Several friends have recently gone to Bernadin and independently reported being underwhelmed, especially by the snotty/indifferent service. Personally I find Gramercy and Blue Hill to be nice but not spectacular.
You might want to consider venturing out to Brooklyn or Queens for one day. New York magazine has published many good features on food crawls in each borough (see e.g. http://nymag.com/restaurants/cheapeat... but note that M. Wells is closed). You can also get a lot of info on the "outer boroughs" board here.
re: The Cookbook Addict
I have since added the following restaurants to my list
Dominique Ansel Bakery
I am not so sure about the Momofuku franchises at the moment. Only Sssam bar and Ko have 4 star ratings on yelp while everything else is 3.5 or lower. This does not show very well on the franchise as a whole.
I was quite excited to go to Mission Chinese too but the reviews on yelp are disheartening.
Keste is my favorite pizza in the city. Try to hit it on a week-day when it's not so crowded. Head to Grom afterwards for some crazy delicious gelato.
The Modern + Moma is one of my favorite ways to spend a day.
I wouldn't miss Red Barn or The Dutch and can suggest Yasuda for lunch (great value).
Many people on Yelp used to rate the Momofukus low because they were expecting a traditional Korean or Japanese restuarant (which they are not) and/or they were just out of college and expecting Koreatown prices. Both of which are unfair comparisons to make; those reviews are probably still skewing the average. It is a young userbase who like freebies and are overly price conscious.
One of my favorite places, Txikito, has a 3.5 rating on Yelp. People who don't know what a pintxo is complain about the portion sizes, talking about sangria (which I never saw when I was in Basque country), etc. A friend of mine calls Yelp "Livejournal plus credit cards."
Definitely go to Mission Chinese. Don't expect traditional Sichuan dishes and yes, it is very spicy.
I read through to see most of the negative comments on Noodle Bar, Milk Bar. There are some complaints about price but the price is not *that* ridiculous so the food quality should counter the cost.
As to Mission Chinese, I did notice that quite a few of the people who did not rate it well were not familiar with sichuan food (and sichuan peppercorns). I will read some of the chow reviews on it.
I agree with your statement that many people rate pricier restaurants lower. Almost every negative review for one of my favourite restaurants here in Vancouver is that it is too expensive. I really wish yelp would have a food taste rating where the people rate the food by itself (as opentable has) and don't downgrade their rating based on price.
re: Charles Yu
Casa Mono looks amazing. I did look at it before and thought the food looked amazing (like you said, it looks like a taste explosion) but I thought it was too seafoody for my taste (I am more of a meat person) and I am not the biggest fan of Spanish tapas (I have had many meals I thought were good/great but none which are my favourite all time). I looked at the photos again and I do think I will go. Thanks!