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Aug 21, 2012 08:49 PM

Manhattan nostalgic restaurant bucket list

I'm moving this fall and am composing a list of restaurants to dine at before I move. If you were to move in a week, where would you spend your last few nights out on the town to eat and drink in your neighborhood?

What restaurants have you enjoyed in Manhattan that are special and unique to the neighborhood? It doesn't have to be high end or 5-star, but an establishment that contributes to the soul of the neighborhood that has been around a long time (or long enough to be a reputable fixture). Kind of like Katz's on Houston street, and Stage Restaurant next to the Orpheum.

I'm asking about this because I want to see if there's any great places I should visit that I may have missed before it's too late! By no means an exhaustive list, just what springs to mind for the EV:

Veselka (check!)
B&H Dairy (check!)
Stage Restaurant (check!)
Pomme Frites (check!)
Veniero's (check!)
Streecha (check!)
Village Yokocho
Cha An Teahouse
Yakitori Taisho (unsure about trying, heard mixed reviews on the food)
Otafuku (check!)
Angelica Kitchen (check!)
Johns on 12th (check!)
Bar Veloce
Podunk (check!)
Kanoyama (check!)
Ukrainian EV Restaurant (check!)

I've really gotta eat at Shopsin's once before I leave....

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    1. re: MrGrumpy

      No, not yet. I haven't looked too much into the LES, but thanks I will put it on my list.

    2. Symposium
      Mandoo Bar
      Isle of Capri
      Gray's Papaya
      Chez Napoleon
      Malibu Diner

      1 Reply
      1. re: vicissitudes

        Thanks! Gray's Papaya was my favorite place for cheap eats in GV when I was in high school. Ahh, memories!

      2. A few places that I love to go to in Manhattan that aren't on your list, that have been around a while and definitely have the "soul" you are talking about:
        Russ and Daughters (1914)
        Zabars (not sure of the year, but around at least as long as I've been!)
        Raffetto's (1906, fresh pasta, sauces, etc to go. On Houston st Just off Macdougal)
        Caffe Dante (1915)
        De Robertis (1904)
        Eisenberg's (1929)

        1 Reply
        1. re: iluvcookies

          Thanks! I will have to hit Raffetto's soon. I tried Dr Robertis a few months ago, it's certainly a neighborhood flagship but I had a really bad cannoli and millefoglie there :( I loved all the photos they had in the shop, some great history there- I just wish the pastry was better :)

          Eisenberg's is awesome, I've been there before but really glad you mentioned it since it's exactly the kind of recommendations I was looking for. Same for Russ & D, I have to pry myself away...

        2. Is Kilmat Klimat, or something else? If it's Klimat, that's only a few years old.

          Some additions to the list:

          El Malecon, and if you want the full atmosphere, go to the flagship on 175 and Broadway, but the one on 97 and Amsterdam has been making pollo a la brasa for a long time (I remember they used to be called something else, but I forgot what, and I also remember when they installed the rotisseries, which must have been in the mid 70s or so).

          Also a mainstay on the Upper West Side for a while is Flor de Mayo, making good Peruvian pollo a la brasa since at least the 80s.

          In your own hood, have you been to Casa Adela yet? More great pollo a la brasa, plus other stuff. Puerto Rican food on Av. C near 4th St.

          Great NY Noodletown has to be on a list like this. I've been going there since, I believe, the late 70s, and it basically never changes. Best Cantonese roast duck in Manhattan!

          You probably also would want to go to Nom Wah, the oldest dim sum place in New York. I haven't been since they've improved the food, but it's the atmosphere that's really old-school there.

          The original New York location of Mamoun's on MacDougal St. has to be on a list like this, too.

          I haven't been to Keen's and don't usually frequent expensive steakhouses, but if you're willing to spend the money, that's a real old-school place. And Old Homestead is even older (I haven't been there, either).

          3 Replies
          1. re: Pan

            Thanks! I keep hearing about Casa Adela on occasion, but I haven't stopped by since it's I'm on the other side of EV and I wasn't sure if it was worth the long walk- but I think I'll have to pay it a visit now since you've vouched for it, I love Puerto Rican food. I haven't been to mamouns yet either, shame on me! Thanks or the rec's!

            I've been to NY Noodle Town, but it was for quick take-out while I was passing through. I've been meaning to stop by again for a sit-down meal of duck. Nom Wah was great, I went there shortly after their renovation- I love how they kept the old school charm of the place.

            Hubs went to Keen's for a boy's night out recently, so I got left behind :( Darn!

            1. re: alkonost

              Be aware that Casa Adela closes fairly early and the chicken can run out.