Philly versus NYC
I'm going to be in NYC for a couple of days in early February and, since I haven't fully explored all of Philly's dining options yet, was wondering what those of you who are familiar with both cities would consider cuisines/types of food that one should eat in NYC because they are not well represented here, either in quality or variety.
The answer partly depends on where in the City you are planning on spending time and whether you are looking for high end dining or you are looking to experience food from different cultures. If you are confining yourself to Manhattan that is one thing, If you are able to visit the outer boroughs, especially Queens, you will get a different answer.
You might also enjoy this piece from the food writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer who spent a few days in NYC with his family and wrote about it, http://articles.philly.com/2012-08-17...
Thanks for the article--will definitely read through for ideas! I will be staying in Newark and getting to Manhattan via NJ transit. That said, I'd be willing to go anywhere that is reasonably accessible by public transport and/or cab. I don't have any activities scheduled, so the sightseeing can be planned around the dining.
I'm open to either high end dining or food from different cultures. The only potential issues with high end dining are that I'm planning on being fairly casually dressed (ie, jeans) and I'm probably way behind the curve in terms of getting reservations.
Some options I'm considering:
Trip to Flushing for Taiwanese food
Arepas (Caracas Arepa?)--haven't had those before
Momofuku Ssam Bar--sounds unique & interesting
Thai (Zabb Elee?)
Pizza--not underrepresented here, but hey, it's NYC (DiFara, Motorino?)
May try to get into Babbo, esp. if they have last-minute cancellations
If you are staying in Newark, you should also try to get at least one meal in the Ironbound district, which serves up some of the best Portugese food out of Lisbon.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/877556 is a good thread to peruse on the NJ board.
I second the Momofuki suggestion.
I would also suggest that if you like Greek and Turkish food, there are many better restaurants in Manhattan than we have in Philadelphia. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/829762 is a good discussion of this topic.
Then there is the discussion of French style food... Daniel, Per Se and so forth may not be the atmosphere you are looking for, but you could go for Bar Boulud, or Cafe Boulud if you want some French food in a more casual atmosphere. I especially like the communal table in the back of Bar Boulud (round table, great service,) and you can get some of the best charcuterie in the US.
I second (third) the Lower East Side rec's. So many fun, casual places. We love pastrami at Katz's followed by amazing gelato across the street at Il Laboratorio. The Manhattan CH board has someone who has developed a great LES walking tour. Here's a thread with that one and some others: