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Apr 19, 2013 01:33 PM

Father-Daughter B-Day Trip

Need food suggestions for a June father-daughter (17th Bday) trip in Manhattan. She's never been to NY. I haven't been for 20 yrs. Trip will be centered on fashion, shopping and museums -- as you would expect with a teen girl.

No Mexican, Steak or BBQ as we can get that at home. Price per meal - $60 per person max.

Food types - ANY. We are not picky. Tapas, Chinese, Dim Sum, Korean, French, American, Italian, Seafood, Molecular Gastronomy. Maybe some iconic NYC places or celebrity chef places (Batali, Bourdain). She likes to dress up, so fine dining isn't out of bounds.

Hotel is on 31st betw 5th and 6th.

Friday - arrive on Amtrak at Penn Station at 6:00pm
Dinner - thinking something casual - maybe Korean

Saturday - Shopping and museums

Sunday - church, museums and shopping
Church 10-11am (7th Ave betw 32-33)

Monday - More shopping (ugh)
Pre-theater Dinner
Show at Imperial Theater (45th betw 7-8)

Tuesday - Depart LGA at 5pm

Thanks for any help in advance! NYC choices are overwhelming.

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  1. When in June? Many popular restaurants book 3-4 weeks in advance.

    BTW, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is having a Punk to Couture exhibit.

    How old is your daughter? What are some of her favorite foods?

    I see you have a lot of shopping on the itinerary. The main shopping areas are spread out throughout town. You will find the hippest options to be near Soho (I'm guessing that she's probably heard of Balthazar from TV shows such as Sex and the City). Balthazar would be an excellent breakfast, lunch, or dinner choice.

    Upper East Side/5th Avenue/Rockefeller Center and Herald Square/Macy's will be less fashionable.

    Also, most of the celebrity chef restaurants are not located in the shopping areas, museum areas, and your hotel/Penn Station area. Though I imagine you'll want to drop off bags and freshen up in the evenings before dinner, so perhaps you can go to another neighborhood just for dinner (Kin Shop, Scarpetta, Perilla, Craft, etc). I'd avoid Les Halles though, Bourdain hasn't really been involved in years.

    See also:

    > Friday - arrive on Amtrak at Penn Station at 6:00pm
    > Dinner - thinking something casual - maybe Korean

    Unfortunately, not the most fashionable area in town BUT if she likes celebrity chefs, April Bloomfield's The Breslin is within walking distance. It's at the Ace Hotel. She also has another restaurants in the hotel, The John Dory. Both will probably be packed on a Friday but if you go early, the wait won't be quite so bad. It's not too far from your hotel either.

    > Saturday - Shopping and museums
    > Breakfast
    > Lunch
    > Dinner

    Breakfast at the Breslin is also excellent (was just there a few weeks ago). Check out the menu to see if you like it.

    Note: most restaurants will be serving Saturday brunch AND Sunday brunch.

    Near the Metropolitan Museum of Art (and Whitney and Guggenheim, ish):

    Near Macy's/Herald Square:


    5th Avenue shopping:

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      We will be in NY June 7-11. My daughter and I will celebrate her 17th birthday while we are in NY.

      Shopping will be a big part, but will do all the general sites too.

      We are willing to cab anywhere to eat, so it doesn't have to be near the hotel.

      For dinners, we will likely clean up at the hotel and then cab from there.

      As far as her favorite foods, she's pretty adventurous. She loves Chinese dumplings and upscale white tablecloth dining.

      1. re: topekahawk

        If you love dumplings, have a dim sum lunch at Nom Wah as one of your meals. It's cheap and good and can help you save money for other meals/shopping that stretches your budget.

        Xian Famous Foods (various locations) is definitely a good thought, because it's another place with delicious food where you can really save money.

        Another idea is Spicy Village, a delicious Henan-style place on Forsyth St. between Hester and Grand.

        And I'll give you another suggestion: There's a restaurant right on the southeast corner of Hester St. and Allen that's completely nondescript but serves the best soy sauce chicken in Manhattan and is probably also unsurpassed in soy sauce duck. The vegetable dishes I've had there are just serviceable, but the place is super cheap.

        For a Korean dinner, I think that right now, of the places I've been to (that is, not counting Gaonnuri, the newer place with a view that might be a nicer overall experience), Don's Bogam is tops in the neighborhood, and I think it is within your budget. It's barbecue, but Korean barbecue, and other dishes there are good, too. We shared the Marinated Beef Platter for Two ($64.95), which I really recommend: Marinated short ribs in spicy sauce, marinated sirloin, marinated short ribs & mushrooms.

        I would also definitely recommend for you to consider some lunch prix fixes at higher-end restaurants that are way beyond your budget for dinner. Tocqueville would be tops on that list, with a $29 prix fixe. Also consider Jean-Georges. Their prix fixe is 2 courses $38, each addition $19, so 3 courses of savory food would run to $57. Dessert is extra, and I can't find a price on their menu, but I think it may be around $12. I'm guessing one of you might need only 2 savory courses, but this is a lunch that might stretch your budget. However, it's pleasant and a chance to have a meal (albeit maybe not a 4-star meal) in a Michelin 3-star/New York Times 4-star restaurant. There's also Riverpark, which I don't think is in the same category as either Jean-Georges or Tocqueville, but is a unique experience of dining with an East River view and has a very economical prix fixe of $25/2 courses and $32/3 courses; desserts (very much worth getting) are $8-13. However, there's no shopping or anything else of real interest that close to the place, which is in the hospital district.

        Another place to consider is Momofuku Ssam Bar, a very cool eclectic-cuisine (with heavy East Asian influence) establishment in the East Village. And next door is a great cocktail bar, Booker & Dax. I'm not sure whether they admit underaged people there, but if not, your daughter should be able to get an excellent virgin cocktail at Ssam Bar, itself.

        Oh, definitely don't leave without having some great pizza!

        And for your pre-theater dinner, consider Marseille. It's a bit pricey without being insane (consider the neighborhood), and its North African-inflected good French bistro food is reliable, though the ambience may be a little frenetic at times.

        For tapas, I want to recommend Txikito, but I'm afraid it may bust your budget, as those small plates add up very quickly. Consider it, anyway, though, in case you're able to save money with all those good, cheap meals in Chinese restaurants!

    2. We are more familiar with places a bit East of your hotel but within short walking distance:
      Breakfast/brunch: Penelope on Lex & 30 or Ceci Cela in SOHO close to SHOPPING!!!
      Marcony, DaCiro and I Trulli are interesting Italian places.
      Katz's Delicatessan is not to be missed.
      S'Mac on E 33 for some late night exotic mac and cheese
      Sushi Sennin for some unusual sushi. Some of the rolls are enormous and good for sharing.
      Otto in the W Village and Pulino's SOHO are great fun.
      If you get down to Chintatown try: Xi'an, 456, Great NY Noodletown or Shanghai Cafe
      So many restaurants, so little time!