One Lunch, One Brunch, One Dinner
Will be in the city in December for a Friday and Sunday. Friday will be looking for a place to do lunch and a place to do dinner. Wife had mentioned wanting to try WD-50 after seeing Dufresne on tv. I'm a little bit iffy about them though. We don't have plans to be in any specific area of the city so we are open to lots of places as long as they aren't spicy or latin inspired. We have already dined at The Modern, Le Bernadin and EMP. Per Se is out of our price range and I'm not sure we'd want to get too dressy (that is I could take or leave having to have coat and tie). That day we will also be looking at lunching somewhere in the city. I would be fine just hitting up a few cheap Chinese places but my wife I think is a little more iffy on that cuisine. I wouldn't mind the alternatives I've seen floating around like a cheap Del Posto or Jean George brunch but would have to double check the schedules. I also don't know if Parma is an option since a lot of talk surrounds their cake more than food.
Lastly, we have a matinee on Sunday. While a brunch at one of the places mentioned above would be great. We are also trying to meet a friend who is coming from the UES near Zabars. She suggested Boulud Sud. What are the hounds thoughts on that or is there a better option?
My potentials to try in general are
Colicchio And Sons
So this is how it all went down..
Thursday - we got in and my mother in law took us to a place called International Delights cafe on long island. I believe they have two locations and amongst other things are known for the huge selection of gelatos, ice creams, sundaes. The menu was large but I settled on fish and chips which had two huge portions of fish nicely fried but not greasy on top of actual housemade chips. I had a flavor of ice cream that was like a black forest cake. The one scoop was really about 2 1/2 but I'm not going to complain.
Friday afternoon we did a very nice and tasty lunch at Del Posto. The dining room was aglow with holiday decorations and was very enchanting and larger than I expected. Also there was a pianist playing.
I had the Vitello Tonnato, Apician Duck Breast and the Brown Butter Panna Cotta and it was all tasty with my least favorite being the appetizer. My other dining companions had (respectively) Bitter Herbs and Lettuce, Pumpkin Cappellacci and Butterscotch Semifreddo. Insalata di vedure, Handmade Orecchiette, Tartufo. They all gave me props for choosing such a great spot.
Next we walked over and explored Chelsea market. It wasn't quite what I expected. I thought maybe it was laided out a bit more like Reading in Philly. We stopped to look in at some of the bakeries and the kitchen store. We inhaled the scents of the tea and spice stand and I took the time to try Olive Oil Gelato and Il Laboratorio (sp) and also to pick up a fatwich brownie.
At that point my companions departed and I made dinner reservations with a friend of mine for Tocqueville based on the recommendations from the board and also because it would give me a chance to browse the holiday market.
I'm not sure what made me think that Tocqueville was casual or somewhat less expensive than other places, but I imagine it is on par with other restaurants with similar menus.
The dining space is small but the tables aren't cluttered together. I got an unusual stiff or snobby feeling from the blonde lady who was taking our coats but everyone else working there seemed friendly.
The dining room is classy and almost reminds me of an art museum gallery. The noise wasn't deafening but clanking of utensils is definitely noticeable. In anycase, we ordered the following (app and main):
Grilled Octopus (I'm a sucker for it and its hard to find down here)
Pheasant (it was off menu special)
Creamless Sunchoke Soup
Butternut Squash Risotto
We both really enjoyed our meals and the Pheasant wasn't as gamey as I thought it would be. I wanted to try it because I've not been offered it before and it wasn't anymore than the priciest of the mains listed. My friend found everything tasty and remarked that he didn't get to do nice dinners that often. I mentioned it would be a good date spot for him and he quipped that it would be a good 3rd date spot. So that was Friday.
Saturday was spent in with deli being ordered in from local caterers for our family holiday party. Don't recall who it was from... in the past it has been a branch of Ben's out on the island. Either way I can't get this stuff in NC.
Sunday - I had planned for my wife, brother in law and a 2nd cousin to brunch at DB Bistro Moderne prior to a show on 46th. However, my wife wasn't feeling good when she woke up and we had to cancel. Instead we got bagels and lox in house and that was just fine as good bagels are also a hard to come by item down here.
Post show, the wife and I went up to 64th to meet my 2nd cousin for dinner at Picholine. We were informed that given the fact that it was a Sunday the kitchen was a little looser with things as far as restrictions or substitutions or even extra desserts.
I was checking out the cheese trolley when I came in as it was near the separation of the entrance and the first dining room.
The restaurant isn't as small as it initially looks with the dining room extending to the back and left. The pictures of the dining room make the walls look like a royal purple but when we were there the lights made them seem very pale. Surprisingly the noise was very low even being not far from the entrance to the restaurant.
Here is what we ordered.
Sea Urchin Panna Cotta (saw photos and just had to try it)
Bacon and Eggs
Lobster (again something I never order but figured why not)
Deconstructed pecan pie (special)
Wild Mushroom Risotto
Citrus Tasting (she ordered the cannoli but she didn't want to make a fuss)
Monkfish (which would have been what I would have ordered had she not)
Pear Belle Helene (which was brought to her gratis)
I thought everything was great though I wasn't overly impressed with the bacon and eggs. My wife really loved the whole grain bread that she chose from the offerings. I'm a bread fiend and thought the two pieces I had (1 whole grain and 1 olive demibaguette) were tasty. The desserts for the table seemed a little hit and miss. My wife's citrus tasting had what were candy olives which were a bit odd.
I had just enough time post dinner to run into Epicerie Bouloud across the street and stock up on goodies. I had tried to hit some bakeries on Friday night but all were closed by 9pm.. on a FRIDAY.. in NYC.. Anywho, this is what I got
Blueberry financier, gateau basque, pumpkin spiced marshmallows, a box of macarons, raspberry frangiapan tart, almond brioche. I think the candied clementines are something they are known for but I didn't get them... .this time. I want to know how to make his version of Gateau Basque.
Needless to say that was the extent of my eating in New York. Monday evening was spent near 9 street and 7th ave in Brooklyn. We just made a short stop at the Bagel Pub as it was convenient and my wife wasn't wanting anything huge. It was cute and the bagels were good. I was hoping I'd have time to go another block or two and try Colson and Almondine's branch there (if open) but it was not to be.
Tuesday we came back home.
So there are a few more to cross off my list. Next time I'm allowed to dine in the city solo or with a friend I'm going to have to hit up one of the still reputable meat houses.
Well I've knocked out Del Posto for a few reasons (as in I've booked that) and now I just need to figure out another lunch/brunch for Sunday and Dinner for either Fri or Sunday. Wife didn't seem too interested in the Picholine menu. Maybe the Salon at Per Se is worth going to for that nice splurge dinner?
I realize you have a matinee on Sunday and so location/time might be an issue, but if you can manage, I have the following recommendations:
Brunch: The best brunch I had recently was at Prune. Just very tasty things (save the nasty licorice they gave us with the check at the end...I was not warned). After that I went over to Prima next door for a cappuccino (they serve La Colombe), also brilliant. Lower East Side. No reservations.
Lunch: Bouley is open for lunch on Sunday in December, and I think their $55 5-course prix fixe is a bargain. Jacket required, though. Expect to spend around two hours there. TriBeCa. Reservations a plenty on opentable.
So i was thinking maybe Sunday brunch at opening of NoMad.. The thinking is now whether to do a brunch or just do something like a bakery crawl and then a nice dinner post show at maybe NoMad or Picholine.. OR do brunch at JG and then show and nice dinner post show.
The thing complicating my thoughts that this will be the last time for awhile that I will be able to visit the city.
So here is the list of remaining restaurants I've limited it down to.. given that Del Posto is Italian..
I'd consider these for either a lunch/brunch experience on Sunday or a dinner Friday or Sunday. I will gladly consider other recs but don't want to go to a place we've been (LB and Modern).
Yes I realize that Marea is Italian too.
Yes I'm aware of the chicken for two with the foie gras brioche stuffing.
> Wife had mentioned wanting to try WD-50 after seeing Dufresne on tv. I'm a little bit iffy about them though.
You can dine a la carte at the bar, BTW. They only serve dinner.
> Per Se is out of our price range and I'm not sure we'd want to get too dressy (that is I could take or leave having to have coat and tie).
You can dine a la carte at the Salon at Per Se. But a jacket would still be required. Per Se is jacket required both at lunch and dinner (they only serve lunch Fri-Sun).
No restaurant requires a tie any more, but you are correct, some still require a jacket (Per Se, Daniel, Jean Georges).
Regarding dress code, Del Posto is jacket preferred.
Babbo is smart casual.
Picholine is jacket recommended (and they don't serve lunch).
Lincoln is business casual.
Daniel is jacket required (and they don't serve lunch).
Colicchio and Sons is business casual.
Craft is also business casual.
Jean Georges is jacket required for both lunch and dinner (it used to be just dinner but there was a change in lunch policy in early 2011).
ABC Kitchen is casual.
Gramercy Tavern is business casual.
Torrisi is business casual.
Minetta Tavern is casual elegant.
> I would be fine just hitting up a few cheap Chinese places but my wife I think is a little more iffy on that cuisine.
What about Japanese? Thai?
> I also don't know if Parma is an option since a lot of talk surrounds their cake more than food.
I think you meant Parm, no "a."
Friday lunch: You could do 15 East, Kin Shop, Momofuku Ssam Bar. Or perhaps even Babbo.
Try a dish or two at the bar of WD-50 early. Then move onto a full dinner somewhere else. Maybe a late dinner at Minetta Tavern.
Zabar's is on the Upper WEST Side, as is Boulud Sud. Not UES.
Where is your matinee? Lincoln Center? Or the Theatre District/Midtown?
Lincoln is basically at Lincoln Center, across the street from the Boulud restaurants, BTW. So they're all within a block or so of each other -- Boulud Sud, Bar Boulud, Lincoln.
I had lunch at Jean Georges in August and most of the male patrons were not wearing jackets.
The Smith opened across from Lincoln Center recently. I liked the food a lot though it's not really a destination restaurant.
Closer to Zabars, try Salumeria Rosi.or Cafe Luxembourg.
Andanada just opened in the former Gastrarte space on west 69th Street with chef Manuel Berganza who ran two Michelin-starred restaurants in Madrid.
For something very new, try Gabe Stulman's Chez Sardine, a modern izakaya. David Santos will be opening Louro on December 1.
More on David Santos' Louro ... http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2012/12/louro-west-village-david-santos-open.html ... http://www.louronyc.com/
Anyone been yet?
Matinee is for the show Once at Bernard Jacobs Theatre on W. 45th and yes I knew it was UWS and not UES.. I don't know why my mind was all topsy-turvy.
The thing with dressing up is this. I don't have a problem dressing up so much as having to walk around the day in the shoes that would go best with an outfit requiring a jacket (to note I do not have a sports coat that would go with a nice pair of jeans and that isn't really my look anyways). I should have noted that my wife doesn't do spicy, pork, or much red meat. The friend that we are meeting has had Minetta on their list for a while, but I'd feel bad asking her to come all the way down to that area just to eat with us instead of meeting her somewhere closer to her spot. I don't think Japanese or Thai would be ruled out. I just hear more about the Chinese places like Golden Steamer or Nom Wah or Xian etc. Maybe I'd throw Tocqueville in their too.
Does anyone know if Barraca is in any way related to the one in Madrid. I highly doubt it but figured I'd ask.