HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Aug 29, 2012 10:40 AM

Help! What am I missing?

looking for good staples that NYC is famous for. Wife and I will be up there next week (so I know I'm behind on getting reservations) and looking for your best recommendation that is quintessential NYC. Here's what we have planned so far:

Wed - Puttanesca for Pre-Theater dinner
Thursday - Red Egg
Friday - Crispo
Saturday - Tao for Pre-Theater Dinner
Sunday - ???? Help what am I missing here

For lunches, we were thinking about Katz's (for the experience), Sarge's (for the food quality), some falfel place, and need 2 more rec's here as well.

We're from Dallas, so we have excellent steak here, and after NY going up to the Cape so will get all the seafood we can handle up there.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd suggest:

    Wed - Toloache or Marseille for Pre-Theater dinner

    Thursday - Wong, Momofuku Ssam Bar, or Yunnan Kitchen

    Friday - Perla

    Saturday - Ma Peche for Pre-Theater Dinner

    Sunday - Boulud Sud or Babbo

    1. > looking for good staples that NYC is famous fo

      Your choices so far are 2 Chinese restaurants and 2 Italian restaurants. NYC has a much, much wider diversity of choices.

      I don't see Russ & Daughters or a pizza place on your list. Or any Japanese restaurants. Or a famous brunch place. Try breakfast/brunch at Breslin, Locanda Verde, Shopsin's, Clinton St Baking Co., or Minetta Tavern.

      Red Egg is known for dim sum dishes, dim sum is usually eaten in the morning, and dim sum is not what NYC is known for. For creative Asian influenced cooking, how about Ma Peche, Fatty Cue, or Momofuku Ssam.

      On another thread Szechuan Gourmet was recommended to you for pre-theater dinner:

      I would re-emphasize this as a good option.

      Also you were asking about Italian restaurants on another thread where Babbo and Manzo were recommended to you. Babbo is great and they often have last minute cancellations. Or you can wait for a table. If you aren't coming back for a while, I'd say don't miss out.

      For pre-theater dinner on Wednesday, I'd look into Don Antonio as well for pizza.

      Weds - Don Antonio - pizza, pre-theatre
      Thurs - Momofuku Ssam - creative Asian/Southern/American cooking
      Friday - Babbo
      Saturday - Szechuan Gourmet - traditional Sichuan
      Sunday - how about Txikito, Zabb Elee, Blue Ribbon Izakaya, The Breslin, Empellon Cocina (for something different from Tex-Mex or normal Mexican), Prune, Kin Shop, Public?

      1. I'm also from Dallas. My daughter and I went to NYC June 30-July 3, and we went to Katz's (LES) on a Sunday, 4th of July weekend and super-crowded, but totally worth it "for the experience" and the Pastrami! Order everything you want when you get up to the counter the first time, because it's a pain to get back in the line. Don't lose your ticket!! Russ and Daughters (est. 1914) is nearby and, while we didn't make it there for the lox and bagels, next time we go we plan to go.
        As a foodie, you can also spend many happy hours at Eataly (between 23rd and 24th on 5th Ave, by the Flatiron Building). There are 5 or 6 restaurants inside. We had a small meal at three of them (antipasti and salads at one, seafood at another, pasta and dessert at the third, and we would have tried to get in Manzo there, too, but it was late, closing time, so we went up to the beer garden (Birreria) on the roof for a brew. We had a great time, but I ended up having to go to the UPS store before we came home since I couldn't fit all the dry pastas and things I bought into my suitcase!
        We were only there four days but I can't wait to go back! I missed Chelsea Market, another great place for gourmet shopping, but we did go to Morimoto in the same building (10th Ave.between 15th and 16th Sts.) for the best (only) $500 meal we ever had! We missed Chef Morimoto-San by an hour, so all the crew were on their best behavior, we think! Every bite was stupendous!
        We were also staying away from steak and looking for quintessential NY experiences! One really fun place we went was Ellen's Stardust Diner just off Times Square (51st and Broadway). The waitstaff are all Broadway stars-in-the-making, so they sing old standards and show tunes and do shout-outs to customers with birthdays, etc. It was really perfect for us on our first night in Manhattan! Some of the performers are fantastic singers! The food is decent (diner-fare) and the drinks are potent, but it is the atmosphere that makes it worth checking out if you're into that kind of thing.
        Junior's Cheesecake (Broadway loc.) on 45th between 8th Ave.and B'way, is next door to the Minskoff Theater (Lion King), and we went there after the show. It was almost midnight (Saturday) but still crowded. The original is in Brooklyn but this Junior's was good for sharing a late night salad and a slice of cheesecake (or two).
        Sunday was our "eat our way across the Lower East Side and Chinatown" day, so we went to Prosperity Dumplings (46 Eldridge) (potstickers are 20 cents each, scallion pancakes like $2 and huge!), Donut Plant 379 Grand (amazing creme brulee donut!), Pommes Frites (Belgian fries and like 25 sauce choices to dip them in for under $5), and Katz's. We would have done dim sum at Jing Fong, or Oriental Garden (both on Elizabeth Street) but we were too full (and hot) by the time we got close to them. Red Egg is rated highly as is Nom Wah Tea Parlor (est. 1920s.) Any of David Chang's "Momofuku" places are worth trying ,too, I hear.
        You said you like falafel, and there are many good places (including food carts). We got gyros from a Greek food truck by the American Museum of Natural History, which were delicious (as were the guys running it! Don't tell my husband I said that.) Empanada Mama on 9th between 51st and 52nd was a place I really wanted to try (same snacks catagory as falafels, I guess) but we didn't. Many flavors of empanadas, and cheap, but probably too close to what we can get (or make) at home. There's a good falafel place in Plano at Independence and Parker (southeast corner.)
        We wanted to avoid anything we could get at home: steak, BBQ, Latino/Tex-Mex, Brazilian, Indian, bar food, or Cajun/Soul/Southern food (although we really wanted to go to Harlem and eat at Sylvia's-the Gospel Sunday brunch is supposed to be fantastic!!-but we ran out of time.) Also, I never figured out what the best Thai recommendation in NY would be (maybe Sripraphai in Woodside, Kittichai on Thompson Street in SOHO, or Ponsgri Thai (3 locations)), but since we have good Thai food in Richardson, we decided we would wait until our next trip. Same for straight-up sushi, which will require a trip of its own to find the best in NYC. My brother told me Veselka (Ukranian, East Village) is good and something maybe not available in DFW. Several Russian (caviar and vodka) places rank high but they were out of our price range this trip. There is a vegetarian Tibetan place, too.
        It was hotter in NY than in Dallas while we were there (omg) and we were trying to save money by taking the subway and walking everywhere. We tried to get to the Smorgasburg street food fair that's open on weekends in Williamsburg (under the bridge) but it was just too hot to get there. Sorry to have missed it! We never got that quintessential Italian meal, either, although we did take out a John's Pizza pre-getting-dressed-for-the-theater, which was very good. Glad we had a fridge in our hotel room and some ziploc bags. We actually brought some of our various leftovers home to Dallas.
        Have fun!

        1. Where are you staying? That would influence some of my replies, because I know a very good falafel place, but it's not a destination place, just someplace I go to whenever I'm in that neighborhood. You also might want to do a search on the word "falafel," restricted to this board. There was a recently updated thread on people's favorite falafel places.