HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Oct 31- Nov 4 Eating Itinerary Gaps

Please critique my eating/drinking itinerary (this is my sixth visit to NYC):

OCTOBER 31 (Wed)

Arrival 1:30ish at JFK, hotel is in Murray/Curry Hill-Kips Bay area, so my estimate is 3:00 for the earliest sitdown to eat - will be STARVING by then -

Grand Sichuan? Eataly for a pizza?

Death + Co at 6pm - possibly followed by a stop at Employees Only

Osteria Morini res at 8:45

NOVEMBER 1 (Thurs)

(Hopefully) EMP at noon

8 PM - Once the Musical

John's or PizzaArte after?

NOVEMBER 2 (Friday)

Early lunch at Red Egg or Golden Unicorn

12:30 9/11 Memorial reservation

______ early dinner? Already been to Le B (love) - been to Babbo several times but considering going back...

8 PM - Glengarry Glen Ross

Milk & Honey after? (with res, have been once before)

NOVEMBER 3 (Saturday)

Lunch - probably a slice at Joe's on Carmine (a tradition)
Dinner open - would like to work in Mayahuel and Raines Law Room. A stop at Jacques Torres also.

NOVEMBER 4 (Sunday)

Lunch at Jean-Georges

Quick stop at MoMa to see the Scream (have been to Moma before)

early dinner/snack open - flight to JFK departs just before 9:00 pm

Any feedback is appreciated, whether logistical or food-wise. We are heavy on Asian and Italian food on purpose. Have been to Le B, Scarpetta, Per Se Salon, Bar Boulud, Mailiano, Grand Sichuan (St. Marks Place location), Chinatown Brasserie (which I understand is now closed), Katz's, Gramercy Tavern, Artisinal. Thanks to the Hounds for any help! Cheers!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Also I have read much about wd-50 but I am not interested in it.

    1. You'd BETTER be starving if you are going to make yourself eat at Les Halles.

      1. Good list with the exception of Les Halles. Opportunity Cost. Don't waste the time, calories, money. Better options.

        3 Replies
        1. re: thegforceny

          Sneakeater and thegforceny, please see my explanation below - my hotel is near Les Halles, I was just trying to give a foodie landmark, no plans to eat there, LOL! ;)

        2. For the best dim sum in the city right now, go to Hakkasan. Red Farm is also good, but they don't take reservations and the seating situation isn't ideal (imho) because of the communal table.

          5 Replies
            1. re: Cheeryvisage

              You're kidding, right?

              Nam Wah. If we're talking Manhattan.

              1. re: mitchleeny

                No, I'm not kidding. Hakkasan and Red Farm are leagues above any other dim sum restaurants in the city.

                1. re: mitchleeny

                  I would strictly be staying in Manhattan and I do appreciate any recommendations! Thanks mitchleeny!

                  1. re: pizzajunkie

                    By the way, if you enjoy soup dumplings, Red Farm's soup dumplings are the best.

              2. This isn't a comment about the restaurants you've choosen, but I would maybe add that you may be impacted on Halloween if you end up anywhere near the Village Halloween Parade. I think you'll be far enough away from the crowds, but just wanted to make sure you were aware.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Beloved1

                  THanks Beloved - I was trying to be mindful of the parade - I was there for Halloween a few years ago and ate at the Grand Sichuan on St Marks place with no problem, but that was during the parade.

                2. Totally My fault for not making this clear - my hotel is NEAR Les Halles, I don't plan on eating there, LOL. I was looking for something around 3pm in that general Murray/Curry Hill/Kips Bay area on the 31st.

                  I just edited the post - sorry for any confusion!

                  I guess Shake Shack might be my best bet? But a pizza from Eataly sounds better.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: pizzajunkie

                    > OCTOBER 31 (Wed)
                    > Arrival 1:30ish at JFK, hotel is in Murray/Curry Hill-Kips Bay area, so my estimate is 3:00 for > the earliest sitdown to eat - will be STARVING by then -
                    > Grand Sichuan? Eataly for a pizza?

                    Eataly will be pretty quiet, so that might be fun.

                    Shake Shack is iffy & so dependent upon the weather.

                    Also if you walk down a bit you can eat at the bar at Gramercy Tavern's Tavern Room, which serves all day.

                    Additionally, Cafe China serves all day long.

                    > Death + Co at 6pm - possibly followed by a stop at Employees Only
                    > Osteria Morini res at 8:45

                    If you wanted to do a bit of a bar crawl in the East Village, you could do Death & Co, Amor y Amargo, Mayahuel, Booker & Dax, and/or Pouring Ribbons (new bar, ex-D&C bartender). Booker & Dax is especially notable for their modern, experimental take on cocktails. Getting to D&C at 6pm is a good plan. I like EO but I think all the ones I listed are better.

                    Also, this is Halloween night, it will be a NIGHTMARE getting from the East Village to the West Village. Better off sticking with the EV on this night.

                    > NOVEMBER 1 (Thurs)
                    > (Hopefully) EMP at noon
                    > 8 PM - Once the Musical
                    > John's or PizzaArte after?

                    Skip John's in Midtown, it's not as good as the Bleecker St one.

                    > NOVEMBER 2 (Friday)
                    > Early lunch at Red Egg or Golden Unicorn

                    I would personally do the duck lunch at Momofuku Ssam or lunch at Mission Chinese instead. Or maybe Xian Famous Foods. Both Red Egg and Golden Unicorn have decent dim sum, but Red Egg's is slightly better, and neither are really exemplary compared to the West Coast.

                    > 12:30 9/11 Memorial reservation
                    > ______ early dinner? Already been to Le B (love) - been to Babbo several times but considering going back...

                    How about a bar seat at Locanda Verde?

                    1. re: kathryn


                      I was so hoping you would chime in, because I really value your opinions and feedback! :)

                      OCTOBER 31

                      I actually read about Pouring Ribbons and had that on my short list - and Mayahuel also - so I think your suggestion to just stay in the EV is a good one. I have read good things about the Toucan and the Lion, and also there is Motorino (as tpigeon suggested) or Mission Chinese as someone else suggested. Or Spina?

                      NOVEMBER 1

                      Now I'm thinking Danji after the musical. Have you been there? A friend suggested it.

                      NOVEMBER 2

                      Lunch: Leaning towards Red Egg b/c we can get in at 11:00 am. I have had awesome dim sum in SF, as you acknowledged, but anything is better than what we have in New Orleans, which is virtually nothing. My companion is not a big duck fan. :( We have been to Ssam previously, though!

                      Dinner: That is a good suggestion for Locanda Verde, which has been on my radar for years. I also have a 5:00 res at Il Mulino, which seems to be a polarizing place on this board and on Yelp. But maybe it would be better to do a drinking snacky dinner at Mayahuel, Pegu Club, or Booker and Dax.

                      Hoping for an 11 pm reservation at Milk and Honey after the play - waiting to hear back!

                      1. re: pizzajunkie

                        OCTOBER 31: If you want to do Mission Chinese, email them and see if they'll take a reservation for that night. They do take a limited number of them.

                        Although the LES might be totally insane that night, so be prepared!

                        NOV 1: I haven't been to Danji yet, it's on my list, but I keep finding myself in the neighborhood when they're not open (Sundays).

                        NOV 2: You might also want to look into Dim Sum Go Go as an option as well.

                        The food at Mayahuel is pretty good, the food at Pegu Club is better, and the food at Booker & Dax is kind of quirky.

                        If you're really into cocktails and a "drinking snacky dinner," I like Death & Co, Pegu Club, and EO's food the best. Especially the bone marrow poppers at EO. Their steak tartare is pretty good as are the lamb chops. At Pegu Club, I like the scallop burgers and the deviled eggs. At Death & Co, the fries, the warm pretzels, the mac and cheese, and the grape flatbread with taleggio.

                        1. re: kathryn

                          Thanks Kathryn! I emailed Mission Chinese, that could be an option.

                          Hoping to make it to Danji - I know they do last call at 11 although they close at midnight, says their website, so I think we would just be walking in the door shortly before 11.

                          I will google Dim Sum a Go Go!

                          Thanks for the tips on the eats at the cocktail bars. Last time I went to Death and Co they had taken the pretzels off the menu - I'm so glad they are back!

                          1. re: pizzajunkie

                            They are off and on, for a while there was a tiny insert in the menu that had them, and then the next time it was gone... worth asking about though.

                        2. re: pizzajunkie

                          I'd nix Red Egg if I were you...it's completely "meh."

                          1. re: LeahBaila

                            Red Egg officially nixed, LeahBaila. :) Now I'm between Nom Wah and DSGG.

                            1. re: pizzajunkie

                              I've heard WONDERFUL things about Nom Wah, and have been dying to get over there, myself...

                    2. edit - my bad - it appears you know all about motorino.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tpigeon

                        tpigeon - I do and I love it! Maybe I should just try there and hunker down for the wait!

                      2. OCTOBER 31 (Wed)

                        Eataly is a good call, but I'd probably do Il Verdure or Il Pesce before the pizza. You could also go in the other direction, and do Riverpark for lunch.

                        Going from D&C to EO to Osteria isn't really doable in that short a time. You'd be passing by OM and then backtracking back to it. Also, that would be quite a few cocktails in that short a time, and you probably wouldn't want to eat anything at EO before going to OM. You could do one of the other great East Village cocktail bars - Mayahuel, PDT, etc - but no point. Have a second cocktail at D&C if you want another, then just go straight from D&C to Osteria. You could always do a late-night drink at EO, or there are a few other good joints closer to OM. (That one under Jacques is good - can't remember the name

                        NOVEMBER 1 (Thurs)

                        Looks good. Good luck with the EMP rez.

                        John's is good (and I assume you mean the Bleecker St John's) and if you're a craft beer fan the Blind Tiger Ale House is right near there for after-dinner (or before-dinner) drinks.

                        Another dinner option to consider - and closer to your hotel - would be Koreatown. Some great options here, from classic stuff like Kum Gang San (which, as I have pointed out many times, has a piano on top of a waterfall, which is something you can't put a price on) to the Zen beauty of the vegetarian (but oh so delicious) HanGawi, arguably both the best vegetarian AND best Korean restaurant in NYC. And after EMP for lunch... a late veggie dinner (if you can book it... last seating is at 10:30 IIRC) wouldn't be such a bad idea. Many K-Town joints (KGS included) are 24/7 though.

                        NOVEMBER 2 (Friday)

                        Neither Red Egg nor Golden Unicorn are worth bothering with at this point. For dim sum, do Nom Wah Tea Parlor, second choices would be Jing Fong or Dim Sum Go Go. For something a little different, the Bayard location of Xi'an Famous Foods is a great option.

                        I would also - while respecting Cheery's opinion - vote against Hakkasan. Red Farm wasn't bad the one time I went, but Nom Wah is much more fun, and it's an excuse to go wander Chinatown a bit, and will put you closer to your destination. Nom Wah is about a 20-25 minute walk from WTC, whereas RedFarm is more like 40-45.

                        Kathryn's suggestions for the duck lunch at Ssam or Mission are good, but they're both a little further from WTC.

                        Babbo is always an excellent choice if you can get the rez, but there's a good chance they're already booked. And honestly, if you're going to midtown for the theater afterwards, you don't want to be rushed. If you can book somewhere downtown early - like, 5:30 - that'd probably be fine, give you an hour and a half to eat at which point you could head uptown without feeling like you need to race. But maybe look into someplace in midtown.

                        For Italian, Esca and Marea are both within walking distance, and always good.
                        DB Bistro Moderne is nearby, and solid.
                        A little further but still do-able - The Modern (dining room or bar room), Aquavit (great of late, and recently got their Mich star back.)

                        NOVEMBER 3 (Saturday)

                        Start at either Mayahuel or Raines, and stop at Momofuku Ssam Bar for dinner in between. Or - better, start at MSB, because you're going to have a wait, and just get your first round of cocktails at Booker & Dax next door. They'll call you as soon as your seats are ready, no muss no fuss. Then do Maya or Raines after dinner, though be prepared - the wait will be looooong at both of them.

                        Saturday nights are the toughest to be out with no rez. You might want to consider flippng things around, doing a more sedate Saturday with reservations.

                        For lunch, maybe start early and do one of our better brunches (Public is a standout, many will agree) and then do Joe's for a snack mid-afternoon.

                        NOVEMBER 4 (Sunday)

                        Looks fine. Maybe grab some to-go somewhere (maybe in Koreatown?) for the flight or to eat while you're in the waiting area instead of rushing through a dinner.

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: sgordon

                          Hangawi may certainly be the best vegetarian Korean, but it's not the best vegetarian (Dirt Candy is so so so much better), or the best Korean. Though the atmosphere is lovely, the food is completely unmemorable. I have long been puzzled by the love it gets on CH.

                          1. re: rose water

                            Thus the "arguably" - unabashed borderline carnivore that I am, I'm quite fond of both HanGawi and Dirt Candy, each for different reasons. Obviously, DC is much more creative and "cheffier" so to speak.

                            It doesn't get love just on CH. IIRC, it's the highest rated NYC Korean restaurant in Zagat. Or it was, at one point (maybe Jungsik has overtaken it - we'll see in a few days when Z2013 comes out...)

                            Eh, it may not be for everyone, though. Everyone's got their tastes. I mean, I don't know why everyone loves Daniel, which I think is a bore beyond compare. Obviously a number of people disagree with me on that...

                          2. re: sgordon

                            The cocktail bar in the basement of Jacques is 1534.

                            1. re: sgordon

                              sgordon, thank you SO much for taking the time to write such a detailed response! I have jotted down several things and am still figuring things out logistically, but I am so much closer now thanks to the help of all the hounds. Much appreciated! I have to say I am intrigued by your piano on top of the waterfall restaurant, LOL!

                              1. re: pizzajunkie

                                My favorite restaurants in Koreatown are two barbecue (especially galbi/bulgogi) specialists: Madangsui and Don's Bogam. Madangsui has a slight edge for both BBQ and banchan (complimentary side dishes), whereas Don's Bogam has chili-marinated galbi, something I like, and my perception is that it's more well-rounded in terms of other dishes.

                                There's also a new Korean restaurant with a view that's been getting good reports here. Someone will chime in with its name because I don't remember.

                                1. re: sgordon

                                  Re. the dim sum choices, the Chinatown places are fine if you care more about the atmosphere, nostalgia, etc than the food. But if you want the best dim sum, period, Hakkasan is still the best in the city in my opinion.

                                  1. re: Cheeryvisage

                                    Cheery, I totally value your opinion. I narrowed it down to DSGG and Nom Wah due to proximity to the 9/11 Memorial and their 10:30 am opening times. I'm keeping Hakkasan on my short list for another trip! :)

                                    1. re: pizzajunkie

                                      Have a nice trip! You have quite a schedule. :)

                                2. Great itinerary!
                                  I'd do Don Anotonio for pizza after ONCE, don't miss their Montanara Starita. They close at 11pm on Thurs., so you'll need to hustle, worth it.
                                  Dim Sum Go Go for sure.
                                  Maybe hit Xian Famous Foods (St Mark's) after checking in for lamb burgers and hand pulled noodles.
                                  What, no bagels and smoked fish?

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: Chuck Lawrence

                                    <<<I'd do Don Anotonio for pizza after ONCE, don't miss their Montanara Starita. They close at 11pm on Thurs., so you'll need to hustle, worth it. >>>

                                    Chuck, I've read about Don Anotonio and the montananra starita - that sounds really good, too! I guess it's because we don't have great NY style pizza in New Orleans, but I've previously enjoyed John's in the theater district (not as good as Joe's on Carmine, but still, good!).

                                    <<<Dim Sum Go Go for sure.>>>>

                                    There seems to be an equal amount of love and enthusiasm for DSGG and Nom Wah on this board, making my decision very difficult!

                                    <<<Maybe hit Xian Famous Foods (St Mark's) after checking in for lamb burgers and hand pulled noodles.>>>

                                    Xian has been on my short list for a while - that many Hounds can't be wrong! ;)

                                    <<<What, no bagels and smoked fish?>>>

                                    Will be picking up bagels the day of departure from Ess a Bagel. On prior trips I have had bagels with smoked fish, but this time, I'm just coming home with bagels.

                                    1. re: pizzajunkie

                                      Xian is awesome. Get the lamb cumin hand pulled noodles.

                                      1. re: tpigeon

                                        tpigeon, that's the exact one that sounded the best to me!

                                      2. re: pizzajunkie

                                        With the caveat that I haven't tried the revamped Nom Wah yet: If Nom Wah's food is as good as or better than Dim Sum Go Go's, go to Nom Wah, because as a place to go to, you couldn't find a more classic, old-school one.

                                        1. re: Pan

                                          Pan, thank you for validating me! I had just decided to go with Nom Wah for sure, and your comment makes me so glad I did! I guess I need to repost with my revised itinerary post-Hounds assistance. ;)

                                        2. re: pizzajunkie

                                          Just wanted to chime in and say Dim Sum Go Go. Great food a variety of dim sum and the rice dish is great. Found this years ago and they still remember my family. We go all the time. Since I went there (7 years ago) I've moved to Jersey and still make it a must go when I'm in the city. You'll love it!

                                          1. re: Monalisa2_1

                                            thanks Monalisa! Too funny....I had just settled on Nom Wah...but they are very close together, so I suppose I could just decide when I get there! LOL