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London foodie couple - restaurant reviews in NYC

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Hi chowhounders,

My husband and I came to NYC from London this past week and after a few mths of reading your excellent reviews, thought we would feedback our reviews. Thanks for all your recommendations!

Dinner @ Kanoyama = japanese food. The menu was varied, most of the food was good, the tempura was a bit disappointing though, quite sad as it is my favourite dish normally. The omakase was not on that night. I would probably not return there.

Dinner @ EMP = we celebrated my husbands bday - hard reservation to get! They were very welcoming throughout, food was generally excellent, finally they took us to the back of the restaurant where they gave us a cocktail made with liquid nitrogen. We had a nice time. The only faults were that in London the 3 star venues look a lot more glamourous...I wasnt quite feeling the art deco thing... it looked like we were eating in a shopping mall, with huge EXIT signs visible straight in front of us. Another error was that they served us each a pot of tea in the middle of our meal...which was then pointed out as a mistake. Embarrassing. That is not a good impression in a 3 star establishment. Want to try Per Se next time.

Dinner @ Momofuku Ssam = loud venue, good ambience, we had dinner there with some friends. Had a great time. The food was great, esp oysters, pork buns (wow), whole baked fish. Eel was a bit weird.

Dinner @ Lukes lobster = we wanted something quick before we caught the sunset staten island ferry, we ate at the branch in the financial district. It was buzzing even at dinner time, despite me thinking it was mainly a lunch place. DELICIOUS lobster rolls!!! Buttery bun and gorgeous huge chunks of lobster. I ordered another one as it was so good!

Dinner @ Wd-50 = we had the bar menu, 4 courses. Food was tasty but very small portions. We were hungry afterwards. Also - the waiters were really good and knowledgable, but the indian guy at the front was SOOOO irritating, He had no clue what was in each dish - if he does not know, he should not make it up. It is a michelin star restaurant. He spoilt our enjoyment of the meal by being what we say in London, a "knob end".

Lunch @ 15 east = DELICIOUS. We had the very reasonably priced set menu. The homemade tofu was to die for, we had it for starter AND dessert, as we had never tasted tofu like it!! The mains, I had sushi and my husband had shrimp tempura - both awesome.

Lunch @ L&B Spumonis pizza - brooklyn = Tasty sicilian pizza, bit heavy, but great,

Lunch @ Grimaldis - brooklyn = Tasty coal-oven pizza, thin crust, coal charcoal flavoured base...yum. I had never tried this before. Awesome.

Lunch @ Murrays bagels = the pumpernickel bagel with smoked salmon was lovely....so soft and tasted gorgeous.

Lunch @ Momofuku noodle bar = PLEASE GO HERE - it is our favourite restaurant of the week. We ate here twice it was so good. We had the smoked chicken wings, grilled corn, grilled mushrooms, pork buns, chicken ramen, pork ramen...all were completely faultless and delicious. I would eat there every day if I lived in NYC!!! Worth the crazy queue outside. Go early!! ie at opening time!!!

Momofuku milk bar = very grotty looking shack, we thought it would be as nicely decorated as the other 3 restaurants. Not so much. We walked out.

Shake Shack = we had a choc and peanut butter shake....it was heavenly.

Doughnut plant = very very rude service - seems like she did not want to be there. Not helpful at all. To top that both our cake doughnuts tasted dry and dense and old. Not fresh at all. I am very sad to say that krispy cremes back home in london taste far better that what we had here.

Big gay ice cream = I had a salty pimp and it was amazing. Oohh drool.

Blue bottle cafe - williamsburg = nice place, cool people. Good coffee.

Laughing man coffee - tribeca - hugh jackmans place. = Bad coffee sadly. Horrifically bad croissant. Dry and tasted really old. We threw it in the bin although it was $5. What a waste.

Magnolias bakery = amazing cupcakes despite being crazy busy and full of tourists. It is worth the trip there. I normally hate cupcakes bought outside because they are dry and gross. These ones are made fresh and have a high turnover so you know you are getting it fresh from the oven. Dreamy....

Breakfast @ Shopsins = hilariously rude + grumpy service. Food was awesome though. We had the sneaky pete and the slutty cakes....both were seriously incredible. We then had the doughnuts which were not so great. We could not eat lunch after this as the portions were GIGANTIC. Time to wear your spanx.

Breakfast @ Locande verde = not great ambience, quite quiet despite it being saturday brunch. Very expensive++ but the food was delicious. We had the granola (yum) and uovo modernese. Gorgeous.

Breakfast @ minetta tavern = what a hidden gem! It looks like a simple low-key place from the outside, nothing special... but this michelin star restaurant packs a punch with breakfast/brunch!! OMG it was awesome. Between us we had the brioche french toast, latkes with poaches eggs and smoked salmon, and the shirred eggs. OMG. PLEASE GO HERE.

Breakfast @ Dominique ansel = PLEASE GO HERE. It was awesome, Delicious DKA, croissants, choc/passion fruit eclair, madelienes, coffee was great. We came back here twice. Fabulous.

Breakfast @ Clinton st baking = full of tourists and HUGE queue outside, we ended up getting a takeout and the granola was disgusting, and very expensive. SOOO not worth it.

Breakfast @ City bakery = had to try the pretzel croissant. It was very salty++ but pretty good. The pain au chocolate was also good. No where near as tasty as dominique ansels pastries though.

Breakfast @ Milk bar in Chelsea market = we had granola and it was really bad. A huge pool of watery yoghurt with a teeny tiny mound of granola in the centre. Gross.

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  1. Thanks for your thorough and spot on reviews!

    1. Nice job, sounds like you did some great eating. Could you elaborate a bit on what was "grotty" about Milk Bar? I'm assuming you went to the one on 13th (across from Ssam). Yes, it's a small, minimal space, but I've never really noticed since it's basically just designed for takeout so I wouldn't expect anything more...and I've absolutely never seen it looking the least bit unclean.

      What'd you have at Clinton St. other than the granola?

      3 Replies
      1. re: crsin

        The milk bar only had some dry cookies, on top of that the dessert we had at Ssam bar was not great at all. I did not mean to say it was dirty, more the fact that it was small, poorly decorated and food did not look appetizing.

        We did not eat anything else at Clinton as we were having take out, it was very expensive, $10 granola was more than enough to put me off going back there.

        1. re: amandafoodie999

          Ah, should have gone with the pancakes or the egg sandwich at Clinton St. (I believe these are offered as takeout too?). That said, while I really like their pancakes, I'd agree that they're not worth waiting hours for (I'd be surprised if any pancake is).

          I'm pretty sure the desserts at Ssam are also Tosi's recipes (can anyone confirm this?), so if you weren't a fan, chances are you might not have been in the 'love it' camp at Milk Bar, anyway.

          1. re: amandafoodie999

            The food did not look appetizing? It's not a sit-down restaurant; it's meant to be a pop-in, pop-out dessert place and they have much more than cookies.

        2. Great report! I love your "PLEASE GO HERE" enthusiasm and frank dismissals of other places. Whether I would agree all the time is not the point; you express your opinions forthrightly, for others to judge as they wish. I will say this: The time a few years ago when I tried some Magnolia's cupcakes from their original branch, I thought they were gross, though their flourless chocolate cake was perfectly fine. So our tastes differ on some things, but I couldn't have asked for a clearer report on everything.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. Thanks for taking the time to cover all these places. I can't wait to call someone a knob end.