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Aug 14, 2012 12:25 PM

Please give me feedback on some suggestions for restaurants for 1 week in NY!

I´m traveling from Norway to NY with my boyfriend in late september, and would like to get feedback on restaurants plans.

We´ll be living in Noho, but I´m prepared to travel all over Manhattan for good meals. We´re in our late twenties and would like to be in places with not all old crowd. Money is of course an issue, but we´re prepared to dig a bit deep in our pockets, at least some nights..

For sure we want to visit:

Also want to check out The River Café for the view. Would you recomend lunch or dinner?

For brekfast/brunch i´m thinking All you can eat and Clinton Street Bakery. What do you think? Need more suggestions..

For lunch: Katz, Five Leaves, Café Gitane..

And then the biggest question. We had been planning to go to Eleven, but after reading the threads here, i don´t think thats the best plan after Labour day. Any other ideas for places? Keep in mind the younger crowd..

And for asian: Is Kajitsu a good place? Tao? Barrio Chino?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. For Babbo, note that they also serve lunch Tues-Sat. For dinner, it can be hard to get into. Make sure to call at 10am New York time a month in advance to the numerical date. i.e. call on August 15 for Sept 15.

    I'd avoid AYCE brunches and buffets overall here.

    For weekend brunch, no reservations taken:
    The Breslin
    Joseph Leonard
    Spotted Pig

    Takes reservations:
    Minetta Tavern
    Locanda Verde
    North End Grill
    Union Sq Cafe

    Best weekday breakfast:

    Best weekend brunch:

    If you're interested in Eleven Madison Park but want a younger scene/crowd, try the NoMad. Note that there is a capital M. It's in the NoMad Hotel on 28th and Broadway. Not to be confused with the restaurant downtown in the East Village. Great cocktails well.

    It's going to be hard to find a 3 Michelin starred restaurant with a "younger crowd" and many people find the Michelin ratings to be dubious in New York City as they haven't been rating here for all that long. Try using the NY Times as a reference as well.

    If you're set on a 3 star w/ a younger crowd, maybe Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare.

    Unless you mean 2 or 1 starred restaurants? If so, Momofuku Ko might work, as well as 1 starred restaurants like Aldea, Annisa, The Breslin, Casa Mono, Danji, Minetta Tavern, Public, Spotted Pig, and WD-50. Note that some of these restaurants skew closer to fine dining (Aldea, WD-50) whereas others are more gastro-pubby or casual.

    There are a lot of excellent restaurants that aren't on the Michelin list, too, which you should consider. If you're interested in Asian fusion, definitely check out:
    Momofuku Ssam Bar
    Mission Chinese
    Fatty Cue

    Your itinerary seems light on many NYC classics: bagels and smoked salmon, pizza, etc.

    As well as light on American foods/restaurants: burgers, steakhouses, New England fish shacks, BBQ, Southern food, etc.

    Here's a list of my favorites:

    6 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Tanks for a great reply.

      And by the way: when i wrote "all you can eat" brunch, i actually ment "good enough to eat" on UWS. My mistake.. Went there three years ago, and want to go back.

      The number of Michelin stars are not important, and i will check out NY Times. I´ve seen people here write about momofoku ko and momofuko ssam bar. What´s the difference?

      Of course we´ll check out bagels, burgers, pizzas as well, but i´ve seen so many threads here about that, so i´ll just look more into them.
      But please send me some tips on sputhern food and bbq.

      1. re: adamst

        LOL! I do like Good Enough to Eat, but I haven't been back in a while.

        Momofuku Ko - 12 seats, open kitchen, upscale, counter seating/backless stools restaurant. Minimal decor. Lots of blonde wood. One tasting menu for all guests, and definitely expensive, at $125pp for dinner. Seats only parties of 1, 2, or 4. Very small, as I said, and reservations aren't always easy to come by. They are open for dinner every day of the week. The signature dishes are probably coddled egg with soubise onions, caviar, potato chips and the shaved frozen foie gras with riesling Jelly, lychee, and pinenuts. Both available of course only on the tasting menu. They are ALSO only open for lunch on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For lunch, the tasting menu is actually bigger and longer! $175pp. This is more of a once in a while/special occasion dinner for most people.

        ALSO Ko opens its books 7 days ahead including the current day, at 10am, only on its web site.

        Momofuku Ssam Bar is much more casual and much less expensive, probably $40-50pp for just food dependent upon what you order. Loud, boisterous, lots of counter seating and regular tables. Also minimal decor, lots of dark wood. Backless stools here as well. Good cocktails. On the weekdays for lunch only there is a shorter duck-focused menu. On the weekends, they have a more extensive menu that is closer to the dinner menu, but not the full dinner menu. They don't take reservations for parties of 2 or smaller groups so you might have a bit of a wait. The menu is a mix of smaller plates and larger plates.

        For the best experience, go for dinner. The signature dishes are their housemade pickle plate, steamed pork buns, country hams, pork sausage & rice cakes, as well as the duck over rice and Bo ssam pork shoulder group dinner. I would say the apple kimchi is a signature dish too but it's usually available only in the fall -- not sure if it'll be there when you are there.

        You might want to read these threads on fried chicken, southern food, and BBQ:

        1. re: kathryn

          Hi again. So, we managed to get a table at Babbo. Called a month in advance like you said, thanks for the tip. But i'm wondering about Acne. Do you know how we should get a table there?? Open table? Call? But when?

          1. re: adamst


            Just look on Open Table. Log on and try to make one and see what happens. Not that hard.

            1. re: thegforceny

              I've tried that, but it's too soon to book it now. So that's why i asked, someone might know how long in advance it's possible to make a reservation..

              1. re: adamst

                If you want the most accurate information about their reservations policy, I'd call and ask them directly what the best way to get a table is.

    2. Here are a couple of my favorites in NYC.

      L'Artusi- They have the best pasta. We love their crudo, appetizers (especially the mushrooms topped with ricotta salata and a fried egg), and all of their pastas. It's in the Village and there is definitely a young crowd. I prefer this restaurant to Babbo though Babbo has a much bigger menu.

      Sushi Yasaka- This is the best kept sushi secret in NYC. They have very fresh fish that they buy themselves from the fish market (in the Bronx) rather than relying restaurant suppliers. It's $40 for a 12 piece omakase that is as good as anything you would find in a M starred sushi restaurant. They put innovative toppings on their sushi and it's different every time. Their cooked food is delicious as well.

      Salumeria Rossi- Italian tapas. They make their own salami. Just order a few that look interesting or get some suggestions from the waiters who are very helpful. Then go crazy on the right side of the menu which is filled with small plates. The pork belly, anchovy salad, tripe, farrotto (must order), and meatballs (if you are there on a Friday night) are our favorites.

      None of these restaurants are very expensive if you don't order too much alcohol.

      Have fun!

      1 Reply
      1. re: kawainekko

        The mushroom dish at L'Artusi is great, I love eating there. They also have an open kitchen so it's fun to eat at one of their chef's counters and see the action. Great cocktails as well. But I think Babbo is just a bit better. The people who run L'Artusi (and Dell'anima and Anfora) are ex-Babbo, BTW.

        At Salumeria Rosi, my favorite items are the finocchio (fennel) sausage and their porchetta. Reservations recommended, especially on a weekend night, as it's not a huge place.

      2. As one of the EMP skeptics in that thread, I would say that there's NO reason to avoid EMP after Labor Day. (Although, as at all the NYC Michelin three-stars, the crowd there scews kind of old.)

        3 Replies
        1. re: Sneakeater

          Whilst not exactly youthful, Eleven Madison Park has had a good share of younger diners every time I've been, especially as one draws towards midnight. My first time, we sat next to a table of kids who seemed just out of uni [they proved to be Cornell friends of Will's, so I guess they were actually round 30].

          1. re: Winterpool

            It took me to just now to figure out that you meant the diners seemed to have just graduated college, and not to have just run out of sea urchin!

        2. Just returned from NYC. Had dinner at the River Cafe and it was very special- 3 course fixed menu for $100. The view? Priceless. It was in the evening and I can't imagine the lunch view could be anywhere close to as beautiful.