Mini NYC getaway this month - looking for input on complementary meals
Returning to New York with my husband this month for a 3-day "remember life without kids?" visit. We've both been to the city many times - New York is always our first choice for a short getaway (from Toronto) and the endless list of foods and sights to enjoy never ceases to amaze.
I've outlined some short-list options below - would love your input on, both in terms of "nah, skip that" or "definitely yes" but also to help us end up with a palette (unexpected pun) of complementary meals and experiences. We're not looking for anything too fancy or elegant - just a variety of great meals with friendly and relaxed service. We'll probably stick with a short-list for all meals outside of dinner so we can leave some room for spontaneity - to that end, if there's some place we won't get in without a reservation (we don't mind a wait), please let us know so we can nix it.
- arrive in time for lunch: Momofuku Ssam?
- dinner - Little Owl (booked)
Day 2 (weekday)
- Abraco for coffee (I'm obsessively in love with this little spot)
- brekkie - Shopsins - I've read it all and I think I'm more intrigued than repelled - alternatives would be Locanda Verde, The Smith or Breslin
- late lunch - Kin Shop, Mary's Fish Camp (been years ago - loved), Pearl Oyster Bar, Zabb Elee, Red Farm, Dirt Candy
- dinner - thinking of combining Terroir on the Highline for a drink/snack with Recette for dinner
Day 3 (Saturday)
- brunch - would plan to go 10 or 10:30 to hopefully avoid the crowds (or possibly reserve?) - Public, Locanda Verde or Maialino?
- late lunch - same list as day before - Kin Shop, Mary's Fish Camp (been years ago - loved), Pearl Oyster Bar, Zabb Elee, Red Farm, Dirt Candy
With the exception of Mary's Fish Camp, we've never been to any of these places. Places we've enjoyed in the past (included as a reference) - Hearth, Tides, Prune, L'Artusi, Sriprapai, Shake Shack (original location), Via Quadronno, August, Mei Lei Wah, NY Noodletown, 'inoteca, EMP.
Your input, as always, is greatly appreciated. Many thanks!!
> Day 1
> - arrive in time for lunch: Momofuku Ssam?
> - dinner - Little Owl (booked)
Momofuku Ssam is a great choice for lunch.
Little Owl is a fine neighborhood restaurant but I don't think I'd go out of my way for it.
> Day 2 (weekday)
> - Abraco for coffee (I'm obsessively in love with this little spot)
Call to make sure they are open that day, they have weird vacation/summer hours sometimes.
> - brekkie - Shopsins - I've read it all and I think I'm more intrigued than repelled - alternatives would be Locanda Verde, The Smith or Breslin
If you're into it, do Shopsin's.
> - late lunch - Kin Shop, Mary's Fish Camp (been years ago - loved), Pearl Oyster Bar, Zabb Elee, Red Farm, Dirt Candy
How late is late? Post-Shopsin's you aren't going to be hungry for a while. Kin Shop is open until 3, Mary's until 3, but Pearl only until 2:30pm. Zabb is open continuously.
RedFarm isn't open for weekday lunch.
Dirt Candy only serves dinner.
> - dinner - thinking of combining Terroir on the Highline for a drink/snack with Recette for dinner
I like Terroir, but Recette is better and more interesting. Have you reserved already? You might want to consider dining at the bar, which is much less cramped.
> - brunch - would plan to go 10 or 10:30 to hopefully avoid the crowds (or possibly reserve?) - Public, Locanda Verde or Maialino?
Public doesn't open for brunch until 10:30am BTW, and they don't take brunch reservations. It's usually not super-crowded BUT I've been there where all the 2-tops are taken but the 4-tops an 6-tops are open. Just a note. You can also dine at the bar.
Locanda Verde and Maialino take brunch reservations and I would definitely make them if you want to brunch there. Both get pretty busy.
> Hearth, Tides, Prune, L'Artusi, Sriprapai, Shake Shack (original location), Via Quadronno, August, Mei Lei Wah, NY Noodletown, 'inoteca, EMP.
Hearth is a good spot, it kind of reminds me of "Craft-light" and might be a good swap for Little Owl your first night.
Tides has closed.
Prune and L'Artusi are good calls but I don't know how soon your trip is, you might not be able to get in for a Friday dinner slot unless you swap something in for Little Owl.
Sripraphai is great (just don't get the pad thai) and if you like curry dishes and noodle dishes and coconut rice, etc. more, I'd go there rather than Zabb Elee. Zabb Elee is very good, just not for curries and noodles.
Shake Shack is good but also a bit of a chain now (with locations in DC, Florida, etc) and the Madison Square Park location's line depends a lot on your timing and the weather.
Unless you've already booked EMP it may be quite difficult to get in on short notice. And by short, I mean 27 days or fewer.
Kathryn, you are - as ever - OUTSTANDING. Thanks so much for your endless, tireless responses - you should get a(n edible) key to the city.
Just to clarify, I included the long list of spots we've been to before as reference point - hadn't planned to hit any up on this particular trip as we've been to most of them many times. And yes, I knew that Tides had closed which still makes me a little sad.
Re: Ssam - what are the average wait times for a weekday lunch, say if I we were to arrive around 1 or 1:30?
Re: Terroir at the Porch - we figured between our love for the High Line and our love for Hearth, this would be a nice spot for a late afternoon glass of wine and maybe a little shared bite before a later dinner. I checked OpenTable this morning for Recette and there were still spots. We're 3 that evening, so I'm guessing the bar won't work (though generally speaking, we're fans of eating at the bar and often choose that option here at home).
Re: Little Owl - I appreciate your comment but for some reason, I've had this place on my radar for a while and know a number of friends who really like it there. I've unfortunately had to reserve and cancel there twice for odd reasons and when I called this time, on relatively short notice, I snagged a cancelled table from the friendly person at the other end of the phone, which gave me a karmic confirmation that it's a spot I'm finally meant to try on this trip.
Will definitely check specific hours on all the restos. Any standouts for you amongst the brunch and lunch options?
re: peppermint pate
I don't think I've ever had to wait to get the duck lunch at Ssam. Most people think of it as a dinner destination.
I love Shopsin's. Mac and cheese pancakes, fresh doughnuts, the sliders, the Petes. There's something for everyone there, really. Locanda Verde's best dishes are the egg dishes, the ricotta, porchetta sandwich, and pastries. I was not as big a fan of their take on pancakes and french toast.
If you want pancakes, waffles, and french toast, you should go elsewhere.
I love the black pudding and foie gras butter waffles at Public, BTW.
I like but do not love Maialino's brunch; if you want a Danny Meyer brunch, go to Union Square Cafe or North End Grill instead (esp the bacon maple croissant at NEG).
Thanks again, kathryn. We're now booked for our dinner at Recette - the current menu looks amazing.
Curious as to why most people consider Ssam for dinner - better menu options in the evening? Is it too heavy a meal at lunch? As an alternative, I see there's a Broadway at Bryant Park event at lunchtime on one of the days we're there, which could be fun - maybe we could combine that with takeout from Ma Peche or the halal cart at 53rd and 6th?
I'm going to keep staring (and drooling) at the menus for Public, Minetta Tavern and Locanda Verde until a brunch decision forms in my brain.
For lobster rolls these days, something we are utterly bereft of in Toronto, is there a favourite between Luke's Lobster, Mary's Fish Camp or Pearl Oyster Bar?
re: peppermint pate
I had a great meal at Recette a few months ago. You can design your own tasting; we chose a la carte and felt that the portion sizes were just fine. Four courses and dessert, and we were stuffed. It is a little bit cramped, though, dependent upon where you are seated.
For Momofuku Ssam Bar, the weekday lunch menu is all duck based. The weekend lunch menu has some duck dishes and some dinner dishes. But not all the dinner dishes. So for the full experience, go for dinner.
For the Bryant Park event, it's a bit of a walk from Ma Peche and/or the Halal Cart. It'll probably be hot and humid, and hopefully not thunderstorming.
I haven't done Mary's. Pearl's lobster roll is good, but mayonnaise based, so it depends what style you want. Luke's is very very minimal. Mostly meat with a little bit of mayo and butter, IIRC, so not a whole lot of dressing. Luke's is takeout/counter service and the menu is very short.They also have a truck. Pearl is table service, and you can also get a variety of items: raw oysters, grilled vegetables, clam chowder, fried oysters, crab cake, bouillabaise, etc. Pie for dessert. It depends what you are in the mood for.