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Spending one day in outer Boroughs; need suggestions

My husband and I are visiting Manhattan, spending Saturday. November 17 in the Buroughs. It's such a big place, it's hard to know what ground to cover. We enjoy getting the "feel" of a place. We've been to the Brooklyn art museum and walked back on the Brooklyn Bridge, and loved that visit. Now we want to do something different. We love seafood, and for me lobster in particular. We also get a kick out of checking out Czech food and irish pubs, although when we're together we don't eat much ethnic. We wondered if it's worth our time to check out the Beer Garten in Astoria. It opens at noon. My husband read about Reynards in the new york magazine, and we're interested in maybe going there for lunch. We're planning going over in the morning and returning late afternoon, maybe checking out the high line and eating later in Manhattan. The Fleafood Market and Skylight one Hanson sound like interesting places to see. Maybe we could start out there and end up in Astoria late afternoon. Anyone have any ideas to throw out there on how to make this work? Could we eat at Reynards with a few drinks ea. for $150, with or w/o the tip?

I'll post on the Manhattan board if i need recommendations there. We might have a lunch at Le Bernardin to celebrate a significant birthday. That will be the splurge meal of the trip. Our last trip splurge was EMP.

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  1. I dont know anything about Reynards so ill let others comment there.

    One Hanson/The WIlliamsburg savings bank building is at the confluence of downtown brooklyn, park slope, prospect hts and fort greene-ish. Its a long way from astoria. Its guaranteed to be a long trip by train, and depending on traffic could be longer/worse by car. I personally dont think id send someone running across town for it - you dont mention the timing of your trip but its a big outdoor space and could be way less pleasant out-of-season.

    Before reading the body of your question I was going to say that you should go to queens and work your way between elmhurst/jackson heights and flushing out at the end of the 7 subway line (it follows roosevelt avenue, and you can do a search of this board for recommendations for first-rate thai, south asian - largely himalayan, though with lots of indian - mexican, central american and then the grand finale in flushing with chinese of every stripe) but that may not be a great call if you "dont eat much ethnic".

    1. The OBs cover a lot of territory. Even if you're talking about only about Queens or Brooklyn, each is much bigger than Manhattan. As tex noted, if you start at the Brooklyn Flea, getting to Astoria isn't easy. Pick one borough and stick with it since you've only got one day. Haven't been to Reynards. If you plan on going there, then I would suggest you stick to Williamsburg where there is plenty to do. Lots of restaurants, shops, and bars. Looking at the menu for Reynards, $150 should be plenty, especially for lunch. Dinner menu looks much more interesting though.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Bkeats

        We decided to go to the boroughs on two different days. Wed afternoon, Nov. 14 we'd slip over from Midtown to Reynards in Williamsburg. Then if we still want to go to Astoria, we'd take the subway Saturday. How long of a subway ride would it be from midtown to Astoria, probably returning in the afternoon, getting off at the highline. Now, with Sandy affecting everything, I'm thinking maybe passing on the boroughs, especially Astoria.

        1. re: conniemcd

          Where are you coming from? Manhattan below 34th street is patchy with power right now. Brooklyn on the other hand is mostly ok. I don't think Astoria has a power problem. Manhattan is supposed to have power back by Saturday so you should be ok on your trip timing. Getting around maybe an issue though. The subways are not running south of 34th street and there is no word yet on when they may start up. Getting cabs is a challenge because of that. The N train is running so that can get you to Astoria. Depending on where you start and where you get off, the ride is 20-30 minutes. Don't know how you plan on going to W'burg as there is no train running there yet. Could take the ferry. If you are planning to eat around the highline, you should check to see if the places you plan on are open. Most of the downtown restos lost power and will have to clean out their stock and basically reopen so that could take some time.

          1. re: conniemcd

            Just a heads up that there are 3 beer gardens in Williamsburg within 5-8 minute walk of Reynards.

            I like the one in Astoria just fine, but I'm not sure it's destination worthy for a couple to travel out there in November. Maybe for a group thing in the summer...

            1. re: conniemcd

              As usual, people are exaggerating the travel times. By subway, Midtown to Astoria is 10 to 15 minutes. Williamsburg to midtown is about 20 minutes. Not that big of a deal, especially since they're not coming for another two weeks when things will be much better here.

          2. Thanks tex.s.toast and Bkeats for your suggestions. It gives me some options and ideas to go on.

            1. If you're in Astoria and love seafood I highly recommend Taverna Kyclades love love their calamari and salmon.

              1. 1 day in the outer boroughs? 7 train crawl.

                1. Do appreciate all the suggestions. We're probably not going to Astoria after all Saturday. I think we're going to try Reynards for a late lunch early dinner Wednesday after we get in. I'm tempted to try Lugers since it's such a legendary place. We do eat beef once in a while. I like the idea of a crawl so might make that for next visit. Thanks everyone.