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May 1, 2013 05:48 PM

Last minute weekend in Manhattan

The wife and I decided to book last minute in the city this weekend to celebrate our 10th anniversary.

We welcome suggestions for dinner Saturday Night and Breakfast/Brunch the following morning.

Also we are into the cocktail scene and not much doing out here in the burbs in that regard, so would like to take in a spot or two for some pre/post dinner libations.

As for dinner, nothing with too much more than biz casual dress code, creative but not way over the top adventourous menu. "New American" is fine, but we also welcome any great "ethnic" cuisines.

For Brunch, great breads/pastries and something a little more than omlettes and benedicts....otherwise just a great coffee and bagel/schmear spot would do fine too!

lets hear your itineraries...! We are so out of touch to the NYC scene...

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  1. Where do you currently live?

    What else are you doing while you're here? Shopping, theatre, sightseeing, museums?

    What research have you done on your own already?

    Are you willing to wait for a table? Or grab two seats at the bar? If so, you have a lot of options.

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

    It's much easier to give recommendations if you can name a per person figure for food ONLY since drinking habits vary so widely.

    Don't forget to account for 20% tip and nearly 9% sales tax.

    See also:

    Recommendations for 1st time visitor:

    Top High-End Spots for Visitor from Toronto

    Cheap eats for 1st time visitor from NZ:

    I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour but sub in Pickle Guys for Guss' Pickles and note that Economy Candy's address is incorrect:

    Some common tourist inquiries:

    Near MoMA:

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

    Near the American Museum of Natural History:

    Near Macy's/Herald Square:


    5th Avenue shopping:


    Notable food trucks/carts:

    Prix fixe lunch deals:

    Best breakfast/brunch in NYC:
    It is (IMO) at the Breslin, Locanda Verde, Shopsin's, Clinton St Baking Co., or Minetta Tavern.

    Best bagels in NYC:
    Summary: the freshest bagels are the best; bagels don't age well at all. Focus on the smoked salmon instead. Preferably at Russ & Daughters! Featured in shows such as No Reservations and Louie!

    I'm fond of red onion, capers, regular cream cheese, and tomato on mine. Try a few smoked salmons before you settle on one, they're surprisingly different (and lox is not the same as smoked salmon, because lox is salmon cured in salt brine, and most people actually prefer the more modern, Nova-style smoked salmon). You can get a mini-sized bagel sandwich at Russ & Daughters, too, if you wish. Takeout only.

    My favorite unique places in NY serve Xian (Chinese) food, Issan (Thai) food, organic/local/sustainable Japanese BBQ, authentic Basque (Spanish) tapas, creative diner food, pretzels, hot dogs, halal food, steak, upscale rustic Italian, Italian subs, creative Italian-American, high end non-sushi Japanese (like kaiseki), creative desserts, molecular gastronomy, mixology/creative cocktails, and creative brunches (sometimes every day of the week).

    My favorite spots: -- scroll down to my post

    Best cocktails:

    Note: many of our best cocktail bars get absolutely SLAMMED on Saturday nights. A lot of them are small and do not allow standing. Some take reservations but not all. If one takes your name down, keep in mind you may be waiting for hours. It is very difficult to gauge if someone will have three rounds or thirteen, so wait time estimations are never as accurate as a restaurant.

    If you want to go to a place like Death & Co, PDT, etc. on a Saturday night, go as soon as they open (6pm).

    6 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks, so much info...

      here are some answers to your first questions:

      We are close by in Fairfield Co, CT, we get to the city a few times a year, but don't keep up with the restaurant scene.

      Willing to drop $150-200 pp including cocktails/wine, it is our 10th Anniversary.

      Willing to go anywhere in Manhattan, staying in Midtown near Koreatown..

      I love eating at the bar, but since this is a special occaision, sit down might be nice, but bar scene is kind of our thing and may too make the evening special, especially in a cool spot!!

      We like chatting it up with the bartenders, they seem to know more whats going on in the kitchen sometimes.


      I have some reading to do!

      1. re: fenway68

        If staying in Koreatown, don't miss cocktails at the NoMad or brunch at the Breslin. You might want to try to grab some seats to eat at the bar at the NoMad, but it gets pretty crowded.

        1. re: kathryn

          dined at breslin and drank at their bar two xmas eves ago, was great!

          1. re: fenway68

            You should also be aware that Milk & Honey moved uptown to 23rd St and Madison. And Little Branch opened up another bar, Middle Branch, 33rd between Lex and 3rd.

        2. re: fenway68

          Rec from our 30 something kids is the lamb burger at the Breslin is not to be missed. They go there frequently for Sunday Brunch and eat at the bar.

          1. re: Berheenia

            that's what I had..lamb burger and seafood sausages