What MUST we eat at the restaurants on our list?
I'm hoping that you all can help us make sure to get the best of our upcoming (first ever) food trip to NYC in mid-December. Based on lots of research through past discussions, we've decided on dinners at Momofuku Ssam, The NoMad, and ABC Kitchen. We will also have brunch at Minetta Tavern. Could you please take a moment to share your must-haves at the above places? We are open to everything delicious. Thanks so much!!
ABC Kitchen: These are absolute "must haves": Kabocha Squash Toasts; Chicken Liver Toasts; Suckling Pig. Yes to the salted caramel dessert, too.
Suckling pig at NoMad is sublime, so keep in mind if you do not choose the chicken. (I love both of these and it is a very difficult choice each visit)
I was recommended the suckling pig confit at The NoMad, by the waiter, and I tried really hard to enjoy it, but I found it both slightly bland and limp. I mean, there was nothing to bind the pressed meat, so it flakes and then gets grainy in the mouth. I've seen it compared to being like a savory "candy bar", but I guess I just don't understand that. Maybe I'm a little more biased towards something like a roasted suckling pig (Chinese style or Lechon), or even just something like pork belly, just anything that is more chewable.
I really enjoyed the duck entree at the NoMad, though, that's the best thing I've had there so far.
ABC Kitchen, I was wowed by the fish.
Momofuku Ssam Bar, everything was memorable (except the oysters, but that was me being ignorant and ordering off-season). I really like what they do there.
Go on yelp and/or flickr to see what looks appetizing. That's what I do. Picture is worth a thousand words.
The NoMad - 2nd the chicken for two, don't forget to try some cocktails. Also love the radishes, fruits de mer, and the milk & honey dessert.
ABC Kitchen - 3rd the salted caramel sundae, would also add on the crab toast with lemon aioli. Their menu is pretty seasonal so some of the dishes available now may not be available in mid-December
Momofuku Ssam - the menu changes somewhat with the seasons but I would recommend the BBQ bun, market greens (they make their own XO sauce), one of the country hams (if you like cured meats). The Shanghai noodles, apple kimchi, and roasted maitake mushrooms were all excellent when I had them recently.
We've removed a couple of posts suggesting that people shouldn't ask questions like these. Some people are planners and some people prefer a more serendipitous approach to dining, and both approaches are okay.
If you don't agree with the premise of a thread, that's okay, but please just jump to the next thread that does interest you rather than stopping to let the original poster know that you think their approach is wrong.
Thanks so much to all who replied with their recommendations. I realize that ordering "off the cuff" is part of the fun, and we will certainly do this also. I just didn't want to miss something that everyone just loves. We don't get to take these kind of trips regularly. Again, thanks so much for the input.
Ssam - 1. pork buns, 2. spicy pork sausage with rice cakes
NoMad - chicken for two
ABC Kitchen - don't confine yourself - just go with what appeals to you in the moment.
Minetta Tavern - if you have brunch lined up, I would assume you already know what you're going for.
A quick report to thank you for your time.
Highlights: loved, loved, loved that chicken for two at NoMad. The milk and honey dessert was a huge hit, too. I had to order a second plate of steamed buns at Momofuku. The DKA at Dominique Ansel is worth a trip. When I took a bite of my husband's Black Label burger at Minetta Tavern, my feelings were hurt that I didn't order one as well. Don Antonio's montanara pizza taught me a valuable pizza lesson (I shouldn't ever order a pizza from my local place again). I could eat ABC Kitchen's crispy squash every day and never tire of it, and seasonal donuts-- what's not to love?
Misses: there is nothing special about the bread and butter at Momofuku (should not be much of a surprise, but my husband thinks bread and butter belong at every meal). Skip the Paris/New York at Dominique Ansel--the DKA is waaaaaay better. I didn't love the Brioche French Toast at Minetta--wasn't much different from any other French toast I've had. I wanted the Pizza del Re at Don Antonio's to be a bit more flavorful with the truffle cream, but I had a hard time finding that. The farm egg pizza at ABC was a bad idea-- we wished we had tried a couple more small plates or appetizers instead.
Overall, a huge food success, thanks in large part to the Chowhound Forum.