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Sep 14, 2012 08:06 AM

10th Anniversary Trip

My husband and I are coming for few days over Christmas to celebrate our 10th anniversay. I've been scouring the boards for the last couple weeks and I've got a quite a list of places to research, but I need help narrowing it down. We'll be staying somewhere in Manhattan, taking the subway isn't a problem for us. Here's what we're looking for:
1. A great food dinner Christmas night. We're not big on French or Thai but pretty much everything else is in play. It could be a neighborhood hole in the wall or a Michelin starred restaurant, we just want great food. Willing to spend around $150 pp before drinks & tip.
2. With so many great restaurants in all the cities we go to when we travel we like to do what we call a restaurant crawl. We'll take a day (in this case Dec 26th) to just walk around a city, take in the sights, etc. and when we get a little hungry we'll stop someplace, sit at the bar and have a drink and an appetizer or two. This way we get to try a few different places. We've been to NY enough that we've seen all the typical tourist sites, we're to the point where we want to explore neighborhoods (they just have to be subway accessible) you never know what you might come across. We usually make sure we're dressed up enough that we aren't out of place at nicer establishments. What places have the best appetizers/sushi/dim sum that we should stop at? Any little neighborhood gems we shouldn't miss? We love food markets and street vendors too, we're not big museum people. We haven't decided which neighborhoods we might hit, for this trip we'll probably keep it in the 5 boroughs. We like to see where the day takes us so I like having a list of places for a bunch of neighborhoods.

Thanks to everyone who sends recommendations!

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  1. 1. It's a little too early to decide on Christmas dinner as most places probably don't even know if they'll be open or not. There will usually be an OpenTable listing of all restaurants on OT who are open on Christmas Day, but it usually isn't posted until after Thanksgiving.

    Here's who was open last year:

    From that list, excluding French or Thai, I think ABC Kitchen, Maialino, or RedFarm would have been my picks.

    2. As for self-guided noshing tours, Manhattan is a great place for those.

    Try also RGR's famous self-guided eating tour of the LES.

    Note two changes: Guss's Pickles has closed, so substitute The Pickle Guys, on Essex off Grand. And the correct address for Economy Candy is 108, not 145.

    What about an East Village crawl? A stroll down 7th St's food shops. Porchetta, Butter Lane, Luke's Lobster, Caracas Arepa Bar, the Big Gay Ice Cream shop, and when you're done you can hit up PDT, Death & Co, or Mayahuel right when they open.

    In the West Village:
    Washington Square Park
    Mille-Feuille Bakery for plain croissants
    Third Rail Coffee or Prodigy Coffee
    Blue Ribbon Bakery Market for their housemade matzoh
    Victory Garden for goat milk soft serve
    Famous Joe's for a gas oven, plain slice
    Grom for gelato - especially any flavor with coffee or chocolate in it
    Rocco's - freshly filled cannoli
    Amy's Bread - slice of cake
    Murray's Cheese
    Faicco's Pork Store
    Bosie Tea Parlor for cookies/macarons/scones/etc
    Blind Tiger for beer
    Joe the Art of Coffee
    Jeffrey's Grocery - oysters and beer
    Taim for falafel
    Magnolia Bakery for ice box cake
    dell'anima for a Negroni Sbagliato cocktail
    Chelsea Market
    The High Line

    Midtown West/Hell's Kitchen:

    Here's a more dinner/restaurant focused one:

    1. Telepan on the UWS does good dinners and knockout brunch on weekends.
      Le Pain Quotidien (64th and Broadway area) is neat for healthy lunches and delectable pastries and breads.

      1. For some sushi recommendations, look here:

        "Best sushi"

        Appetizers - how about tapas, then? Consider Txikito in Chelsea.

        For dim sum, you might consider going to Flushing. If you are interested (it's a 30 to 40-minute ride from Midtown to Flushing - Main St. on the 7 and 20 minutes from Penn Station to Flushing via the Long Island Railroad, and the subway is a more interesting ride), search the Outer Boroughs board under "dim sum."

        The obvious place to go to a food market is Union Square, on market days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday): There will be fewer stands open in the winter, and you can check that link closer to the time, but it will still be open. Other good places to go (indoors) would include Murray's Cheese in the Village and Zabar's on the Upper West Side (but don't go there on Christmas Eve if you don't want to get elbowed and run over by shopping carts), and Eataly and DiPalo's are also worth a visit. In Chinatown, the huge, block-wide Deluxe Market is an interesting place to visit.

        1. Check back in November for restaurants opening this fall including Carbone, Chez Sardine, The Marrow, Juni, Hanjan, Ristorante Morini, The Fourth, Pig & Khao, Jeepney, and hopefully a new collaboration between Tien Ho and Gabe Stulman.

          1. Oh wow, thank you all! I'll definitely be coming back to keep an eye on what else comes up between now and then. Not to mention my in-laws are heading to Manhattan for a long weekend next month and I know they'll be asking for recommendations, now I have a bunch to give them!