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NYC Food Itinerary

lhenry Feb 16, 2013 04:46 PM

I have enjoyed previous help from Chowhounders, and would appreciate it again for my upcoming 5th trip to New York in March. We are staying at Central Park South. Open to most foods.

Day 1:

Dinner at Café China or Szechuan Gourmet (Never been to a Chinese restaurant in New York, would prefer it to be midtown or CP South)

Day 2:

Lunch at Le Bernardin (3-Course(Always wanted to go, love fish))

Dinner at Shake Shack or Minetta Tavern (Never been to SS, is MT worth extra for burger)

Day 3:

Lunch at Per Se (Never Been, will do 5-course)

Small Dinner at Gramercy Tavern (Tavern Section)

Day 4:

Lunch at Rouge Tomate (Business Lunch Prix-Fix)

Dinner at ? (Open to anything, want entrees to be around $30 or under (Interested in Spotted Pig?))

Day 5:

Lunch at (Taking train to Cold Springs in Hudson River Valley)

Dinner at Katz Deli (Never Been)

Day 6:

Lunch at The Little Owl

Dinner at ? (Something Very cheap ~ $10-$15 pp,Thinking of Luke's Lobster?)

Day 7:

Lunch at Jean Georges

Dinner at Babbo

P.S. Wondering if I should do dinner Daniel instead of Lunch at per se. I Have been to Daniel before and loved it, and a dinner seems more special (Can't afford dinner at per se). But I have always wanted to go to per se.


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  1. k
    kathryn RE: lhenry Feb 16, 2013 05:10 PM

    Day 1: Well, do you enjoy spicy foods? What kind of atmosphere do you want? SG is OK for a Chinese restaurant in terms of decor, Cafe China is nicer.

    Also! I'd make sure to do research on what is best at those places ahead of time. Stay away from the Americanized dishes in general. They are best at authentic Sichuan.

    Day 2: I assume this is a weekday as Le Bernardin doesn't do Saturday lunch & is closed Sundays.

    Go to Shake Shack if you want a thin, well seasoned patty with special sauce and a potato bun.

    Go to Minetta Tavern for the steak, atmosphere, cocktails, and other specialty dishes. The burger is good but a gimmick and the kitchen is very talented--they can do a LOT more than just a burger.

    Day 3: this is a Fri, Sat, or Sun, yes? Those are he only days Per Se serves lunch.

    Day 4: your itinerary is very heavy on French and American. How about tapas at Txikito? Thai at Kin Shop? Momofuku Ssam Bar? Japanese? Etc.

    Day 6: have dinner at a pizza joint. Maybe at Motorino.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn
      lhenry RE: kathryn Feb 16, 2013 05:29 PM

      I love spicy foods, and I don't care about the atmosphere as long as the food is good.

      The days aren't that set in stone, because I have yet to get airfare, but yes I am aware of the days those restaurants serve lunch.

      What are the best cheaper (<$20) burgers in city? SS interests me because of their frozen custard and affordable burger with good reviews.

      I've always wanted to try Ssam Bar, maybe for dinner day 4? As the prices aren't on the menu, would it fall under the category of around $30 for an entree?

      Also interested in Sushi Yasuda, but would probably put me over budget. How much are the sushi rolls about?

      1. re: lhenry
        kathryn RE: lhenry Feb 16, 2013 06:20 PM

        Your Chinese choices are good, look at each menu to see which appeals more.

        I personally love Shake Shack but a lot of people don't, especially if they crave a bigger burger that is done rare. If you're looking for custard, you can't really find it elsewhere, either.

        Ssam's larger plates are usually in the mid-20s.

        Yasuda is known not for rolls but nigiri sushi.

        If you want maki try Blue Ribbon Sushi in Soho, or Blue Ribbon Sushi & Izakaya on the LES.

        BTW, the lobster rolls at Luke's are $15 and on the petite side. You may need two if you have a big appetite.

        1. re: kathryn
          lhenry RE: kathryn Feb 16, 2013 07:15 PM

          I think SG looks better to me.

          I trust your opinion and will stick with Shake Shack.

          I will put Ssam Bar in for Dinner Day 4.

          Finally, Luke's lobster roll sounds better than sushi. We have enough fresh sushi on the West Coast, so Maine Lobster will be a nice change.

          Thank you so much for your advice!

    2. ipsedixit RE: lhenry Feb 16, 2013 07:01 PM

      On Day 7, I would not do JG for lunch.

      If Day 7 is a Th, Fri, or Sat, then go to EMP.

      Every time I've had lunch at JG, I always feel like the kitchen is being artificially restrained, sort of like sitting in coach next to a 500 lbs lady with an overactive bladder.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit
        lhenry RE: ipsedixit Feb 16, 2013 07:17 PM

        We went to EMP last summer when lunch was $74 pp for 4 courses, and I don't feel like paying 5 times what I will already be paying at Jean Georges (Never Been) for something I've already tried.

      2. s
        Simon RE: lhenry Feb 17, 2013 04:11 PM

        some thoughts:

        -- i like Wu Liang Ye (48th St) better than either SG or Cafe China (my two visits to SG were underwhelming, and i used to love CC but it's gone downhill i believe)...

        -- i wouldn't do Per Se and Gram Tavern (even the Tavern Room) in the same day: if you do Per Se lunch, i'd say that a very light casual dinner would work better...

        -- consider Bar Pitti -- casual, cash-only Tuscan w/ a chalk board of delicious specials, pleasant people watching, and charming staff...

        -- consider a night of wine and hopping btw El Quinto Pino and (as Kathryn mentioned) it's sister restaurant Txikito restaurant for tapas...

        -- based on the places you've mentioned, i'd consider The NoMad, especially eating at the bar...

        Cheers, and please report back

        5 Replies
        1. re: Simon
          kathryn RE: Simon Feb 17, 2013 04:21 PM

          I thought the NoMad stopped serving food at the bar? Did this policy change?

          1. re: kathryn
            Simon RE: kathryn Feb 17, 2013 06:12 PM

            i've had full meals at the bar at The NoMad about 3 or 4 times btw Halloween and now -- last time was 1+ months ago though...when did you hear that they stopped?...

            1. re: Simon
              kathryn RE: Simon Feb 17, 2013 07:10 PM

              Someone, Spiritchaser maybe, posted on here that they stopped around the time of their NY Times review.

          2. re: Simon
            lhenry RE: Simon Feb 17, 2013 04:37 PM

            How about switch Luke's and Gramercy Tavern since kathryn said portions were on the smaller side?

            BTW: Is there a difference in quality between the locations of Luke's?

            1. re: Simon
              prolix RE: Simon Mar 1, 2013 12:15 PM

              Seconding Bar Pitti! It's a wonderful neighborhood spot that's been around since I was a kid.

            2. l
              lhenry RE: lhenry Feb 22, 2013 07:28 PM

              We got our airfare, arriving on March 27 and Leaving on April 3. However, we have decided to include Washington D.C. in our trip from Sunday morning to Tuesday Afternoon (31-2), but will move Jean Georges to the day we leave as we have a late departure. That means I won't be going to Katz, The Little Owl (sadly), or Gramercy Tavern, and will transition those days to the D.C. boards.

              P.S. I wanted to thank you guys again for your help, and look forward to your help again. Will post a review of my trip when I get back.

              1. l
                lhenry RE: lhenry Mar 1, 2013 08:59 AM

                I just got reservations to per se for my preferred date!

                7 Replies
                1. re: lhenry
                  foodwhisperer RE: lhenry Mar 3, 2013 10:52 AM

                  Glad you're getting to go to Per Se, it is a great restaurant.
                  I also love Jean Georges. Two of the best restaurants in the city maybe the country.
                  Sorry you don't get to try Katz's, I'd pick it over Luke's ( not sure if you're still going to Luke's). I'd do Ed's over Luke's especially since it is a dinner thing. Luke's is not a "proper" place for dinner, it has only about 8 seats. The lobster rolls are way better at Ed's.
                  Gramercy Tavern is no great loss, it's an average place.
                  Little Owl is good,but not exceptional.
                  Enjoy Wash DC, there are some nice places to eat there.

                  1. re: foodwhisperer
                    miltronix RE: foodwhisperer Mar 5, 2013 08:05 AM

                    If you're going to DC you could skip Szechuan in Manhattan and go to Hong Kong Palace in Falls Church. I've been to Chengdu and it's pretty close to what I had there. Not perfect but much more like what I had than other places I've been in the States. That frees you up for another meal and I think Minetta Tavern is a really good place to try. It is pricey though...

                    You could go to Luke's in DC. It's good but not something that I've craved when I visit NYC. Katz's on the other hand is definitely worth it. Ask for a fatty cut of the pastrami and you're good to go. Lobster rolls are a New England thing whereas a good pastrami sandwich is a New York thing. Save the lobster rolls for a trip further north in my opinion.

                    I've had Per Se's lunch menu and the full tasting and the full tasting in my mind is much better. You don't get oysters and pearls with the 5 course and the ingredients frankly aren't the same level as the tasting. I guess you still get to feel pampered and have all the mignardises but I really felt that the full tasting was much more memorable from a food perspective.

                    I live in DC so let me know if you want more suggestions and we can discuss over on that board. I travel to NYC several times a year so I try to keep up with the Manhattan board and can help compare the NYC vs DC dining scenes.

                    1. re: miltronix
                      lhenry RE: miltronix Mar 7, 2013 04:05 PM

                      @miltronix I don't plan traveling outside central D.C. and the National Mall Area, as we won't be renting a car. Also, Minetta Tavern would push me over my already pushed budget, even though I do want to try it.

                      I think I will put both Luke's and Katz for dinner, and decide when I get there and see what my mood is like.

                      Per Se: Again, I would love to get the full tasting, but it would be out of my budget. Do you know if you can substitute the normal first course on the lunch menu for the oysters and pearls on the full?

                      1. re: lhenry
                        miltronix RE: lhenry Apr 15, 2013 08:32 AM

                        This is a bit late but you can add the oysters and pearls to the lunch menu for $30. I didn't ask to substitute but I imagine there would be an upcharge.

                        1. re: miltronix
                          lhenry RE: miltronix Apr 15, 2013 08:38 AM

                          We went there two weeks ago, and substituted for the oysters and pearls and there was no up charge.

                          1. re: lhenry
                            miltronix RE: lhenry Apr 15, 2013 11:02 AM

                            That's good to know! So how was the meal?

                            1. re: miltronix
                              lhenry RE: miltronix Apr 15, 2013 12:22 PM

                              I reviewed my trip about two weeks ago

                2. NYJewboy RE: lhenry Mar 3, 2013 07:00 AM

                  Skip Katz's, a pale shadow of something that might have been. Babbo for sure, maybe twice!

                  1. l
                    lhenry RE: lhenry Mar 25, 2013 08:50 AM

                    I finally got my hotels, so this caused me to switch around my restaurants a little. I will be staying at the Plaza Athénée for the first two nights, then The Sofitel for the 2 nights after that. Then I will be off to D.C. For dinner day 1 I've decided to switch in Luke's Lobster at the Plaza Food Hall. Then, for day two put in The Little Owl. Day 3, I will go to Kat'z instead of Gramercy Tavern (Tavern Section). Day 4, I will do lunch at Szechuan Gourmet, then the rest is the same.

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