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Visiting NYC this weekend

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And would love some recommendations - I've got Friday afternoon arrival and leaving Sunday night.

Here's what I've been toying with.

The Lion - possible dinner friday
Employees Only - drinks or dinner Saturday?
Mercer Kitchen - Lunch Sat? Sund?
11Madison - dinner Fri or Sat?

two other names that popped up were Abe & Arthur and The Harrison.

I'll take any recommendations or maybe an iteration of the above places. Its a quick trip and I haven't done a ton of recon so any help is appreciated.

Thanks!

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  1. I've been to Lion a twice and to be honest I was not a fan. I don't want to get into specifics but I always felt rushed and just wasn't a good experience. Get another opinion though.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bifpocaroba

      +1 on The Lion. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I've come to expect for an NYC dining experience.The food wasn't memorable and the service was spotty. But I bet there are tables available this late!

      1. re: VaPaula

        Hi - reservations are pretty much done right now and like I said, I could do EmpOnly for drinks if necessary. I was given some of these names from people who'd been and I think more of the food is along the comfort/contemporary. I don't mind Italian, but am not necessarily looking for asian/fusion.

        Travelling from Toronto... and 2 of us

        1. re: bluesbreaker1969

          You might also want to look at the NoMad's (capital M) Library Room or bar area for drinks. It is the sister restaurant to Eleven Madison Park.

          The drinks are OK at Employees only. If you go for food, get the bone marrow poppers and the steak tartare for sure. I like to use it as a pre or post dinner stop. It does get a little crowded/loud on weekend nights.

          See also this thread for 1st time visitors to NYC:
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/890481

          I think you're missing a lot of what is uniquely NY: steak, food trucks, halal carts, smoked salmon & bagels, pizza, etc. My friends from Toronto also tend to load up on Mexican food and burgers (Shake Shack) while they are here.

          Glancing at OpenTable, I see some slots Saturday night at Acme, Blue Smoke, Grey Lady, Hill Country, Louro, The Modern - Bar Room, Peels, Pig and Khao, Public, which are some cuisines you might not be able to find easily in Toronto.

          I also see a Maialino for 2 at 8pm on Saturday, which seems kind of rare to me -- I'd grab it ASAP.

    2. How many people in your party?

      Are you OK waiting for a seat?

      What's your budget, per person, before tax, tips, wine/drinks?

      Do you already have reservations booked?

      EMP books up 28 days in advance typically and is tasting menu only...

      How did you get these recommendations? It's not exactly a set of the strongest/best restaurants and seems kind of one note--no Italian, Spanish, Thai, etc?

      What kind of food are you looking for? Favorite cuisines? Where are you traveling from?