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Itinerary...for the rest of the year

kyph0515 Aug 20, 2012 11:34 AM

Hi there,

I'm relatively new to the board (at least, as far as posting goes) and already have been finding the members in this community to be extremely helpful and well informed. I thought with this topic I'd give everyone a space to have some fun and myself a chance to put together something that resembles a plan for the next few months.

I will likely be leaving NYC in the beginning of 2013 (I'm Canadian but have been working in the US for the past five years), and am looking to relocate to Asia (born in Hong Kong). Before I leave the Big Apple, I'd like to say that I've had the privilege to sample the best of the plethora of cuisine this city has to offer. What I'm looking for, then, is some advice on how this can be accomplished with the remaining months ahead.

I want to construct a list with some loose categorization, potentially with some overlap. For some things I'll already have something in mind about which I feel strongly; for other it's left wide open.
I'm not in the group who can say "price is no object" - in fact, price is a big object - I just often choose to look past it in favour of finding gastronomic bliss. If enough CHers consider something worthwhile, I might just break my bank for it.

I'll start the list off with the heavy hitters. Once I have this prioritized, I'll move on to the next category, and repeat/rinse. Anything that's "on the list " is there for at least one compelling reason, so barring extenuating circumstances I will not be crossing them off.


Michelin-Star Restaurants

On the list:
Le Bernardin (no explanation necessary, I think - this will probably be my "farewell NY" meal)
Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen (only one in Queens - I live in Sunnyside)

Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare (if I can secure a seat or two)
Corton (sounds...different enough)
Momofuku Ko (for lunch)
Soto (uni)
SHO Shaun Hergatt (available on savored.com...)
Gramercy Tavern (I've been almost all the other Danny Meyer establishments. also Michael Anthony)
Kyo Ya (kaiseki)
Sushi Azabu (I haven't been to enough good sushi places in Manhattan)
wd-50 (NY's best attempt at molecular gastronomy?)

Eleven Madison Park
Jean Georges
Per Se
Ai Fiori
The Breslin
Del Posto
Minetta Tavern
The Modern
Peter Luger
Spotted Pig


In all cases I'll be dining with my girlfriend, and sometimes maybe with a small group. I work a 9-to-6 Mon-Fri job, so weekday lunches are typically out of the question (although I've done Danji at lunch a couple of times). Late dinners and any time on the weekend are, on the other hand, all fair game. Food first, service next, and the "scene" is of no significance to me whatsoever. And last by definitely not least, I don't drink alcohol.

Thanks, and I hope you all have some fun.

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  1. Cheeryvisage RE: kyph0515 Aug 20, 2012 11:46 AM

    I don't see Jungsik on your list. I absolutely recommend it! Here's my report on a dinner there if you're interested: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/815513

    Regarding SHO Shaun Hergatt, Shaun Hergatt himself has left the restaurant since June. I don't think it's worth a visit at this point.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Cheeryvisage
      kyph0515 RE: Cheeryvisage Aug 20, 2012 11:56 AM

      Does Jungsik have a star (not a rhetorical question)? I've heard enough good things about it that I assume it would, but it's not on my list of reference. I can't see your gallery at work - but from what I can see on your post the food looks stunning. I understand that it's not really "Korean" in the traditional (?) / pre-conceived sense, so I don't know where to put this, but I'll sneak it onto my list somewhere. Thanks!

      1. re: kyph0515
        Cheeryvisage RE: kyph0515 Aug 20, 2012 12:02 PM

        It just opened late last year, after the publication of the 2012 Michelin guide I believe. The general consensus, based on reviews and reports by diners who post online, is that Jungsik deserves a spot on the next year's Michelin Star list.

        I think of it as French-Modern American with Korean influences, but there are others who think it's Korean with French-Modern American influences. See this discussion here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/835277

        1. re: Cheeryvisage
          Cheeryvisage RE: Cheeryvisage Aug 20, 2012 12:13 PM

          Also, for sushi, I'd definitely add 15 East to the list as well. You can find discussions on this board if you do a search.

          1. re: Cheeryvisage
            kyph0515 RE: Cheeryvisage Aug 20, 2012 12:22 PM

            I'll be doing a list for sushi and/or Japanese restaurants as well: for sushi right now I'm fumbling around with 15 East, Azabu, Yasuda, Ushiwakamaru, and Kurumazushi. I'll probably end up just being able to do one. Masa's not on the list because for the same price I can probably fly to Tokyo and camp out at the Tsukiji market at 4AM (after I've relocated, anyway).

    2. a
      alepenazzi RE: kyph0515 Aug 20, 2012 12:25 PM

      Definitely skip SHO... I've been there a couple of weeks ago... What a sad experience...

      The menu is still pretty good, and the food was good, but you really feel as if they are closing the restaurant around you...

      At 9PM we were the only one inside, the wine list was not available because they had only 2 whites left and two reds. The service was far from a michelin starred restaurant, as if the waiters were the only ones left in there, with no managers, etc...

      We then asked for some port at the end of the meal and again, they didn't have any port left, only some french sweet wine they offered on the house...

      Overall we had a good meal, but I'd never recommend it to anybody..

      1. k
        kyph0515 RE: kyph0515 Aug 21, 2012 08:35 AM

        I've done some narrowing down...


        Michelin-Star Restaurants

        On the list:
        Le Bernardin (no explanation necessary, I think - this will probably be my "farewell NY" meal)
        Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen (only one in Queens - I live in Sunnyside)
        Jungsik (highly recommended by Cheeryvisage, gorgeous pictures, glowing reviews from CHers)

        Corton (sounds...different enough)
        Momofuku Ko (for lunch)
        Gramercy Tavern (I've been almost all the other Danny Meyer establishments. also Michael Anthony)
        wd-50 (NY's best attempt at molecular gastronomy?)

        I dropped Chef's Table because it's just too expensive, SHO because of what's been mentioned here, and all the Japanese restaurants because I'll just be so much closer to Japan :P I think I have room for just one more on this list - thoughts?

        8 Replies
        1. re: kyph0515
          kathryn RE: kyph0515 Aug 21, 2012 08:53 AM

          Maybe the NoMad's rooftop restaurant?

          1. re: kathryn
            kyph0515 RE: kathryn Aug 21, 2012 09:43 AM

            Sorry - I wasn't being clear - I meant I have room for one more to move from the "Considering" section to my actual list. The NoMad Rooftop does look interesting, though. I think I would've been more eager to try if I hadn't already visited EMP.

          2. re: kyph0515
            Cheeryvisage RE: kyph0515 Aug 21, 2012 11:44 AM

            I'd pick Momofuku Ko to move to your list, personally. It's one of my favorite restaurants in the city.

            1. re: Cheeryvisage
              kyph0515 RE: Cheeryvisage Aug 21, 2012 11:55 AM

              I think I'm leaning towards that as well because a couple of my friends are also interested. Reservations seem to be a bit of a crapshoot though.

              I'd move on to the next bit on my list but I just had the 9pc special from Popeye's and need a nap...

              1. re: kyph0515
                Cheeryvisage RE: kyph0515 Aug 21, 2012 12:14 PM

                I hear that the best time to make a reservation on Momofuku Ko's website is Saturday morning at 10am.

                1. re: kyph0515
                  kathryn RE: kyph0515 Aug 21, 2012 12:57 PM

                  I have the best luck while booking seats either during holidays (i.e. Christmas morning) or for seats on holidays or special events days (like Super Bowl Sunday).

                  1. re: kyph0515
                    kyph0515 RE: kyph0515 Aug 21, 2012 03:19 PM

                    Hrm I just started reading a few reviews on Atera and now I feel a bit conflicted...will sort this out somehow.

                    Next up on my list is burgers. I think I've actually tried most of the "famous" ones.



                    On the list:
                    None - I don't have anything in mind that I must try

                    Peter Luger Burger - for lunch?
                    DB Bistro Moderne - DB Burger (short ribs, foie gras, truffles, etc.)

                    Too many to list - but the standouts for me are: Korzo Haus, Minetta Tavern's Black Label, Brindle Room, Breslin's Lamb Burger...


                    I guess here I'm looking for random entries to be thrown in. I have tried JG Melon and was not impressed - are Donovan's and PJ Clarke's like that at all?

                2. re: kyph0515
                  calf RE: kyph0515 Aug 21, 2012 05:30 PM

                  Corton, great choice.

                  Atera, if you can fit it in. It is 2* worthy, IMO.

                3. k
                  kyph0515 RE: kyph0515 Aug 22, 2012 03:08 PM

                  Okay my ambiguous request for burgers to try didn't seem to have generated a lot of interest. What about brunch? To be honest I'm not usually a brunch person, but there's still a couple of places I'd like to try:



                  On my list:
                  Joseph Leonard (hashbrowns...gf loves hashbrowns)

                  Extra Virgin (recommended by friends)
                  Shopsins (menu looks strangely interesting, but somewhat scared by horror stories)
                  Clinton St. Bakery (tried to get in once, gave up)
                  Balthazar (seems like an "essential" thing to do in NYC, but wasn't a big fan of sister Pastis)
                  Prune (it's...popular?)

                  Breslin (lamb burger)
                  Public (innovative dishes, but somehow was not blown away)
                  Locanda Verde (truffled honey ricotta with toast nomnom)
                  Buttermilk Channel (mmm cheddar waffles)
                  Prime Meats
                  Little Owl (with the little sliders...)


                  Let's say I can do this once every 3-4 weeks so we're looking at 4-5 places. Don't care about reservations because if we really need to be early, we can be early (as a non-drinker hangovers are not an issue for me).


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kyph0515
                    JC2 RE: kyph0515 Nov 15, 2012 01:57 PM

                    Red Rooster brunch is fun. Food is fine, but atmosphere is really good.

                  2. k
                    kyph0515 RE: kyph0515 Nov 15, 2012 11:54 AM

                    Thought I'd shamelessly update my own thread...

                    I'll be leaving in January, so I'm really trying to pack a lot into a couple of months. Since my last update I've done (* denotes thumbs-up):

                    Michelin: Jungsik (*), Danny Brown, Gotham Bar and Grill (*), Aquavit, The NoMad (*), and Tulsi

                    Burgers: ...none

                    Brunch: Joseph Leonard (*), JoeDoe, Five Points, Prune (*), Clinton St. Baking Company

                    Bakeries/Sweets: Dominique Ansel (*), Levain (*), Big Gay Ice Cream, Van Leeuwen, Bosie's Tea Parlour

                    Others (specialties, etc.): Russ & Daughters (horrible bagel, btw), The Meatball Shop, La Colombe (*), Osteria Morini, Tabata Noodles, Parm

                    For the following month I have these plans:

                    reservations: Tocqueville, Bouley, Le Bernardin, Lincoln Ristorante
                    intend on going: Craft, Gramercy Tavern's Tavern Room, Dell'Anima, Eileen's, Two Little Red Hens, Salt and Fat (Queens)

                    I'm still trying to see whether I can score a reservation for Momofuku Ko - I think that's the only extra fancy meal I can afford. I don't think I'll try to hit sushi joints and steakhouses as my gf isn't a huge fan. I think I have pretty much everything covered? (Also, as a Chinese person I've had a meal at basically every restaurant in Flushing and most in Chinatown - I'll be in Toronto for Christmas and New Years so I have no incentive to do more Chinese here).

                    I don't know what kind of advice I'm looking for at this point - maybe for someone to shout out random "quintessential" places that I should be going to but haven't been / planned to go. Coffee shops, hole-in-the-walls, specialty stores, whatever.


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