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High-End Dining with Some Special Factors

Bada Bing Jul 11, 2013 11:06 AM

Okay, so I'm a humanties academic (read, not so high-income) taking my 13-year-old son with me to NYC midtown as I combine research with checking out the city in my spare time. I drink little or no alcohol. So far my food plans include typical Chowhound foraging. I think we'll go try Di Fara and maybe John's, Joe's and some other pizzas. I want to go to Turco's Grill because I am fanatically hopeful of finding German-style Döner Kebabs in the USA.

But now I'm also considering trying one top-flight restaurant with my son. Right offhand, Le Bernardin sounds good, because he and I both love seafoods. My son is 13 but totally cool with new foods. So pleasing a "kid palate" is a non-issue here.

How much forethought do I need to bring to being a rather odd couple in such places: a father and young teen son, no wine component to the dinner, etc? Will these places roll with that or are we going to feel out of place? Wearing sport jackets is not a problem, by the way--my son happens to like them.

Also, of course, I'll welcome recommendations about places just now, and also thoughts on whether one misses much by way of food experience if doing lunch instead of dinner. Thanks in advance!

  1. s
    Scott_C Jul 11, 2013 11:21 AM

    If you're both wearing jackets then Le Bernardin would be delighted to have you. You won't feel out of place at all and you won't find any difference in quality between lunch and dinner.

    For another seafood meal, consider 15 East for sushi.

    1. chompchomp Jul 11, 2013 11:23 AM

      Marea?

      2 Replies
      1. re: chompchomp
        ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 11:55 AM

        I love Marea -- one of my favorites in NYC. That said, I don't really consider a "splurge" type of restaurant.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          chompchomp Jul 11, 2013 05:55 PM

          Dang. I totally do.

      2. Spiritchaser Jul 11, 2013 11:24 AM

        If you are going to "splurge" on one high end meal I don't think Le B would be my first choice. Now Le B is one of my absolute favorites in NYC but as you already know, it's seafood focused and they, IMO, are unmatched when it comes to fish. However, I think there would be other restaurants you could try with a wider vision. I immediately think of Bouley or Jean George which does wonderful things with both sea and land based proteins (Per Se and EMP aren't mentioned because the cost is quite high).

        Regarding your concerns of being an "odd couple", not an issue, as long as you are respectable you'll have no problems fitting in anywhere.

        Regarding lunch vs dinner, personally we do most of our meals as dinners but only because that's what works best for us. When we can find time to do lunches we've found they can be much nicer than dinner for several reasons, amongst thm, beautiful light, leisurely pace, often a relative bargain for the exact same food as dinner service. It's conceivable you could do two "fancy" lunches for the price of one dinner.

        And kudos on liking the jackets, I never dine out in these types of resturants without a suit or sports jacket regardless of lunch or dinner (but I am becoming an endangered species).

        1 Reply
        1. re: Spiritchaser
          c
          cambridgedoctpr Aug 13, 2013 06:44 PM

          as someone who visits nyc frequently - and is from chi-town originally - i like bernadin, jean-georges, emp, per se among the top rank places.

          i am especially impressed with the bargain lunches at J-G.

        2. ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 11:54 AM

          If you're going to splurge, do EMP or Per Se.

          No one will look at you (or your young aspiring son) odd for dining together, nor will you feel out of place. Anyone that takes a second look at you two are no doubt just envious and wish they had such a wonderful dad growing up.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit
            Bada Bing Jul 11, 2013 12:33 PM

            You're very kind in your remarks, ipsedixit. Thanks!

            1. re: ipsedixit
              kosmose7 Jul 11, 2013 05:03 PM

              +1

            2. jrvedivici Jul 11, 2013 12:02 PM

              I personally think your putting too much thought and concern over the 13 year old father and son combo. Especially if he is going to be dressed appropriately AND not asking for chicken fingers, any fine dining establishment is going to welcome him. My son use to enjoy wearing suit's etc. as a young man, now at 15, not so much. We use to have boy's night out....we would put our suits on.....go out to diner.....I would get a martini with olives, he would get a Shirley Temple in a martini glass with cherry's. I'm smiling warmly at the memories of these nights together as I type this.

              Anywho......since it seems you have some apprehension about this....take a page out of my old play book, and maybe try a steakhouse? There is no where more welcoming to men of all age's than a NY City Steakhouse. It's almost a right of passage teaching your son about the delicate nuances of a prime dry aged piece of meat.

              Just something to think about. If it's of interest I'll give you a list of my fav's.

              23 Replies
              1. re: jrvedivici
                Bada Bing Jul 11, 2013 12:32 PM

                Thanks for your thoughts, and I welcome recommendations. But you underestimate my exposure--which is nil--to high-end Manhattan destination restaurants. I'm sure you're right that nothing is "likely" to be troublesome, but I felt it was worth asking. For example, it's not clear to me if some tasting menus presuppose accompanying wine courses.

                The steak house is an idea, but I'm a serious home cook with some good food sources (Mid-West is not so bad in that regard!), so I tend to make my own steaks. When I go out to eat, I target places that do things I cannot readily do at home--stuff that requires time and preparation techniques that make their best sense at large scale (like much Japanese cuisine, which calls for lots of specialized ingredients); wood- or coal-fired oven temperatures; complex or delicate sauces; etc. Those pros have equipment and economies of scale, and that's what I think I can take advantage of in this visit.

                I also like to go out for Indian foods for the same reason, given the complexity of ingredients and sauces and the near-impossibility of replicating tandoori oven conditions at home or those large iron platters they use to make dosas in South Indian cuisine. I don't really notice much chatter about Indian food in the Manhattan board, interestingly.

                1. re: Bada Bing
                  k
                  kathryn Jul 11, 2013 01:02 PM

                  My husband and I don't really drink wine, and we've had many tasting menus paired with only water. We've never experienced any issues. Many people prefer to have cocktails only pre- or post- dinner, or prefer beer instead, or avoid alcohol altogether (pregnancy, medication, religion, etc), so it's not uncommon.

                  > When I go out to eat, I target places that do things I cannot readily do at home

                  You dry age steaks for 28+ days at home? ;)

                  > I don't really notice much chatter about Indian food in the Manhattan board, interestingly.

                  There's been a fairly active thread on Malai Marke recently.
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/889897

                  And here's one on Dhaba that just popped up again:
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/709887

                  1. re: kathryn
                    Bada Bing Jul 11, 2013 01:10 PM

                    Thanks!

                    Actually, I haven't dry-aged steaks, although I've tried some of the dumbed-down, fridge-based, air-drying approaches. In addition to my garden outdoors, I've corned briskets, made sauerbratens, cured guanciale in my basement, and more. I've seriously considered building a wood-fired oven in my back-yard. So, yeah, I go to extremes!

                    I think that's why my son is how he is: from a young age, something new was always around the bend, and often he was involved in the making. It's been splendid.

                    edit, p.s.: If I can find some genuinely good Indian food in Manhattan, that opens a whole new wrinkle. I'll study your links.

                    1. re: Bada Bing
                      jrvedivici Jul 11, 2013 01:36 PM

                      I know this isn't really what your looking for, but it is my personal favorite so I can't help talking about it. I will share with you my explanation about true prime dry aged steaks prepared properly as in most NYC steakhouses.

                      Peter Lugar's is widely accepted as the Grandfather of most traditional NY Steakhouses and most copy or prepare their steaks in a very similar manner. For years I could never understand the draw of the place (BTW was non-formal dining as you can imagine, although most men are in suits from Wall St. etc.) then I actually went there and tried their steak.

                      I am a HUGE red meat eater, and I love steak. Everyone has a different palate we call have our preferences on what we like or don't like, so even though personally Peter Lugar's represents the epitome in red meat preparation, I can't promise you would feel the same as I do about it. I can however promise you this, after trying the steak at Peter Lugar's or a few other similar NYC steakhouses, you will walk away and say, you have never had a steak with the same flavor before. That is what I tell everyone who I introduce to this type of steak, you might not love it the way I do, but I promise you will say you've never had another steak like it!

                      Anyway.......enjoy your tip to the city! Most importantly enjoy the time spent with your son!!

                      1. re: jrvedivici
                        Bada Bing Jul 11, 2013 02:12 PM

                        Thanks for following up jrvedivici/kathryn on the steak thing. I understand the principle of dry-aging, and I know that it is not the same as simply drying a steak out for a while in an arid fridge. In fact, I believe that genuine dry-aging involves significant extra cost because the outer layer of meat has to be cut away as waste. I will seriously investigate this option, because I'm figuring that, while we're there, we should try various samples of the best in NY that we can find time and funds for, high and low--bagels to bluefin (although I do fret about sustainability on the last count--I'm just reaching for alliteration :).

                        1. re: jrvedivici
                          r
                          RCC Jul 11, 2013 05:54 PM

                          Don't take this the wrong way, but I wished you'd have spelled Peter LUGER correctly especially since it's your personal favorite. Plus, let it be known, it is not Peter Lugar's ... just Peter Luger.

                          1. re: RCC
                            jrvedivici Jul 11, 2013 06:01 PM

                            For the record let me clarify a few things;

                            Peter LugEr steak is my personal favorite, not the restaurant.

                            Although I'm very fortunate to be able to dine at places like Peter Luger, that still don't make me too bright!

                            (Ben and Jacks in Manhattan which are PL descendants is actually my personal favorite. The quality of the steak and it's preparation , as well as side dishes, is as equal to PL as I have been able to find. The excellent service and dining ambiance is far superior to PL.)

                          2. re: jrvedivici
                            Bada Bing Jul 11, 2013 06:03 PM

                            So Peter Luger (I've been googling) is evidently not in Manhattan anyway. I think I'll have my car at the hotel (alternative being stashing it upstate and taking the train in). I'll do some investigating about NYC steakhouses that might be closer to midtown. Then, too, I'm close to Chicago, and they have serious steakhouses there, too.

                            I have tried the local Ruth's Chris, and I know I won't shell out again for that, relative to what I can make on my own.

                            1. re: Bada Bing
                              jrvedivici Jul 11, 2013 06:11 PM

                              Peter Luger is the standard which I use to compare steakhouses to for the quality of steak. Peter Luger as a restaurant I wouldn't recommend unless for a one time experience to say you have been there. As I said if you were interested I would gladly give you recommendations. The highest of which would be Ben and Jacks Steakhouse.

                              1. re: Bada Bing
                                e
                                Elisa515 Jul 11, 2013 09:13 PM

                                (leave the car upstate and take the train, if you're planning to stay in Manhattan)

                                for what it will cost you to park, you can instead go out for that indulgent dinner :)

                                1. re: Elisa515
                                  jrvedivici Jul 12, 2013 04:19 AM

                                  Believe it or not I found a Groupon Last week for overnight parking in Manhattan at any of 90+ locations for $20. Only downside was it was only for 1 night per location, so you would have to move the car each day.

                                  1. re: jrvedivici
                                    e
                                    Elisa515 Jul 21, 2013 08:43 PM

                                    You don't want to be driving a car around. And if you move the car, you pay again to park--or go to a place where you don't understand the parking. Driving and parking in NYC simply isn't for out of towners.

                                    (and there are plenty of Groupons for Icon parking at $16, and great parking deals can be found through bestparking.com. But I still think out of towners shouldn't bring their cars into the city when staying at a midtown hotel and then thinking they can drive to Brooklyn or wherever for a meal.

                                    Maybe this isn't food related enough to stay in this thread.

                                    1. re: Elisa515
                                      Bada Bing Jul 22, 2013 03:43 AM

                                      Thanks. Personally, I'd call your comment food-related, because how one means to get to food, in a regional board, has much to do with planning the eats.

                                      1. re: Bada Bing
                                        jrvedivici Jul 23, 2013 09:53 AM

                                        While I'm not going to say Elisa is giving you bad advice, I personally believe driving in NY City is something everyone should experience at least once in their lives!

                                        1. re: jrvedivici
                                          Bada Bing Jul 23, 2013 09:59 AM

                                          I have done it a few times and only once, in or near little Italy, was it a gridlock thing. I think driving's fine there. Just parking is a PITA. Any estimate on comparative drive-versus-subway times to get from midtown (high 30s) to DiFara in Brooklyn? I see that DiFara is right by a subway stop.

                                          1. re: Bada Bing
                                            d
                                            dyrewolf Jul 23, 2013 10:34 AM

                                            Totaly depends on time of day... but while driving in Manhattan is a must do experience to some... most would say it is not. The subway to Brooklyn is an ought to do. And if driving is a must do, parking is a try to avoid experience. And apoligies if it was said upthread where you are coming in from... but if NJ, park along the hudson on the other side at a PATH station or a ferry station (check online to see what parking costs), if Westchester or CT look by Metro North trains.. and enjoy like a real NYer with no car (I have one that I drive every day, would be thrilled to be out of it)

                                2. re: Bada Bing
                                  chompchomp Jul 12, 2013 05:19 AM

                                  If steak is on the table, how about Keen's? I feel like a 13-year old dude would love that place. Civil War relics!

                                  1. re: chompchomp
                                    jrvedivici Jul 12, 2013 05:58 AM

                                    My first time at Keen's I asked the waiter how their Mutton was, he gave me his lengthy answer to which I responded, "You ain't got nuttin on my mom's mutton".....and he stormed off apparently not a fan of my humor.

                                    Keen's is definitely a must experience for any steak fan.

                                    1. re: jrvedivici
                                      Bada Bing Jul 20, 2013 07:53 AM

                                      This is another place I might try to work in. Mutton chop sounds terrific. A look at my thread history will show how often I'm working away at lamb.

                                    2. re: chompchomp
                                      Bada Bing Jul 12, 2013 06:07 AM

                                      Interesting about the Civil War relics: I've actually been thinking we might visit Gettysburg on the way to NYC. My son's big fan of military history.

                                      In fact, also on the way to NYC, we're going to an historical aviation and reenactor extravaganza near Detroit Michigan August 10. So maybe Keen's will give us the military history trifecta...

                                      1. re: Bada Bing
                                        scoopG Jul 12, 2013 06:51 AM

                                        I am not sure what Civil War artifacts Keen's might have, but they do have a vast collection of pipes - including Douglas MacArthur's. Since 1885.

                                        http://www.keens.com/AboutKeens/History/

                              2. re: kathryn
                                d
                                dyrewolf Jul 11, 2013 01:41 PM

                                Many good recs above. I would add though that some of the top flight places are sorta romantic and some are less so. I would not take a son to Jean Georges... the room is a jewel box. Le B is a little less pretty. EMP lunch is probably in reach and that room is also beautiful but less pretty (whatever that means.. I'm a grumpy 50year old guy.... some places are date places to me, some less so) Anyway, look at the picks.

                                I would also tend toward lunch, you can nearly get to the top of the pile at lunch and stay out of the $$ stratosphere...

                                1. re: dyrewolf
                                  k
                                  kathryn Jul 11, 2013 01:56 PM

                                  > I would also tend toward lunch, you can nearly get to the top of the pile at lunch and stay out of the $$ stratosphere...

                                  Not really at EMP. EMP lunch is only Thursday, Friday, and Saturday now, and the cost is the same as dinner, $195.

                          3. n
                            nycgenki Jul 11, 2013 03:53 PM

                            Sounds like it will be a great day out for your two. Things that spring to my mind are a steakhouse or perhaps somewhere like 15 East at the sushi bar. Maybe Craft.

                            1. d
                              Dave Feldman Jul 11, 2013 07:36 PM

                              I haven't seen one thing in your initial post to dissuade you from going to Le Bernadin with your son.

                              He likes putting on a jacket, you both like fish, and it IS a place where it is significantly less expensive at lunch than dinner. Most important, I think it will feel special for your son. There is a French feel to the dining room, even if it isn't the warmest ambiance.

                              I think your pizza crawl is a great idea (be warned, though, that DiFara's is in Brooklyn), and not a quick ride from midtown.

                              22 Replies
                              1. re: Dave Feldman
                                b
                                Bkeats Jul 12, 2013 05:15 AM

                                I'm with you. I don't understand the disdain for LeB and the dining room. I like the food and I think the mural at the end is spectacular. Maybe means that I'm a boring corporate hack to the hipsters, but I'm happy. Great service and its nice to have to put on a jacket every now and then. Just got a new suit for my teen son and he asked if we could go to more places that he could wear it. He appreciates being in a place where the crowd was a bit dressier than normal.

                                So BadaBing, go to LeB. I love a great steak, but the experience at LeB is probably more what you are looking for.

                                ETA: I read your thread about doner kebab. If you don't find what you are looking for at Turco, if you have time, I will suggest heading up to the New Haven area in CT. There is a turkish community there and there are several turkish restaurants. Many of them serve the puffy type pita you described. Not at all like the flat pocket bread stuff.

                                1. re: Bkeats
                                  s
                                  Sneakeater Jul 12, 2013 05:59 AM

                                  + 2

                                  For formal dining, I think LeB is the best restaurant in New York.

                                  I also think that if someone wants to actually expose themselves (and their chile) to fine dining, there's no need to redirect them to a steakhouse. Let them experience fine dining. It won't kill them.

                                  1. re: Bkeats
                                    MVNYC Jul 12, 2013 06:44 AM

                                    Honestly I don't understand coming to NYC and eating steaks. Sure we have great steaks but so do a lot of other cities.

                                    From your description La Bernadin seems perfect for a young fish lover who likes wearing a sports jacket.

                                    1. re: MVNYC
                                      p
                                      pammi Jul 12, 2013 06:49 AM

                                      No one has mentioned that there is a restaurant week from July 22nd-August 13 th. There are dozens of the best restaurants in NY offering lunches at $25 and dinners at $35 where you can experience the finest that NYC has to offer-you just need to go on the website to review menus and make a reservation. I just made one at Park Avenue Summer,a place I especially recommend. I agree with the above poster-why eat steak in NY? There are so many other,unusual choices..

                                      1. re: pammi
                                        b
                                        Bkeats Jul 12, 2013 08:05 AM

                                        That's because RW does not have dozens of the best restaurants offering the finest that NYC has. It mostly a bunch of second tier places or if its one of the better restaurants, it them demonstrating how they can coast on their reputation. RW participation is a huge warning telling me not to go. It was very different when it started, but RW now is so not worth it.

                                      2. re: MVNYC
                                        ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 06:51 AM

                                        I tend to agree with that, although there is one place in NYC where I would earmark for steak, and it's not even a steakhouse.

                                        Perla's 56 day dry-aged ribeye. Supposed to be for 2. Two what? Forks? I'm not sharing that ribeye ...

                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          MVNYC Jul 12, 2013 07:07 AM

                                          See while I do love dry aged steak, I really don't want more than a few slices of meat. The flavor is so intense I personally get overwhelmed by it. As part of a tasting menu I am fine with it but a full slab of cow is kind of boring to me. Honestly I only eat at steakhouses for bachelor parties or other guy events. Since steak is so "manly"

                                          I would much prefer a high end sushi meal any to get a nice variety of tastes and textures.

                                          1. re: MVNYC
                                            ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 07:16 AM

                                            I totally hear ya.

                                            All I'm saying is that the only "steak" I would seek out as a "splurge" type of meal in NYC is probably the ribeye at Perla.

                                            There are other places with long dry-aged steaks (260 days at Carnevino in Vegas, for example) but they are few and far far between.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                              MVNYC Jul 12, 2013 07:44 AM

                                              That does look good, as does the veal head for three. May have to put Perla on the list. Lots of nice off cuts on the menu, which is my cup of tea.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                jrvedivici Jul 12, 2013 07:45 AM

                                                Ispe on a semi related topic, you know what they serve at the bar at my favorite NY steakhouse, home made potato chips! No need to microwave when they are coming straight out of the fryer! Love that! Problem is after a basket of them it starts intruding on my steak appetite, oh the problems of life!

                                                1. re: jrvedivici
                                                  ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 08:01 AM

                                                  Never been to B&J, but the potato chips (also a bar snack, gratis naturally) at Il Mulino are like deep-fried crack.

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                    jrvedivici Jul 12, 2013 09:33 AM

                                                    Tell me your opinion of Il Mulino.

                                                    1. re: jrvedivici
                                                      ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 09:46 AM

                                                      Expensive and overpriced. But a good scene, and the bartenders do a good stiff pour.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                        jrvedivici Jul 12, 2013 10:33 AM

                                                        I agree with you completely, I could never really figure the outrageous draw the place has. People swear to it and I've just never "got" it. At just under 6'4" and just over 300lbs it's also very "close" for me. If I'm not comfortable from the start, the rest of the night is going to be difficult for me to enjoy. The food is excellent, but not for the prices.

                                              2. re: MVNYC
                                                jrvedivici Jul 12, 2013 07:31 AM

                                                "Since steak is so manly"

                                                Is exactly why I suggested the steakhouse idea to begin with. The OP in my opinion was expressing some apprehension about choosing the right venue for his fine dining experience with his son. Again, in my opinion, if you are already having some apprehension then perhaps a great NY City Steakhouse experience can be a "rite of passage" experience for the trip.

                                                You also said you don't understand people coming to NY for steaks......by your handle I assume your from NY. I'm from Jersey and I think a lot of times the novelty of NY is lost to locals. There are a lot of tall buildings in the world, but people still come to see the Empire State Building.

                                                I'm a carnivore through and through......and even though I can go to any number of steakhouses within 15/20 mins of home that serve prime dry aged steaks, it doesn't stop me from taking the trip into the city at least 2/3 times a month, just because I can. Besides perhaps a meal on sunset on a beach in Aruba.....there is no other meal experience I personally enjoy more than a great steak in New York.

                                                Again, everything I'm saying is obviously very subjective but I just thought it might be a nice or different experience for the OP and his son.

                                                (I should also just throw in most of my trips for dinner include a few cocktails at 230th 5th Ave roof top bar/lounge. Just a few blocks from the Empire State Building.....sitting out on the roof with the ESB rising almost directly above you, is one of my favorite places to have a few drinks. Then luckily for me my preferred steakhouse is just one block walk away)

                                                1. re: jrvedivici
                                                  MVNYC Jul 12, 2013 07:53 AM

                                                  I used quotes because I don't think it's manly, to me it's some archaic sense of it. But plenty of my friends love steak houses, to each their own. NYC has so much more to offer than that.

                                                  I would agree with the 230 5th recommendation, one of the best views there is. I have no clue if they allow under 21 in there so you might want to check.

                                                  1. re: MVNYC
                                                    jrvedivici Jul 12, 2013 09:36 AM

                                                    MVNYC "Who loves ya baby......" (sorry I couldn't help myself, do you mind if I ask the reason for Telly Savalas pic?)

                                                    I wasn't suggesting the OP taking his son to 230th 5th, especially when he stated he doesn't really drink. That was strictly a lil FYI about what I enjoy about coming into NY for dinner.

                                                    1. re: jrvedivici
                                                      MVNYC Jul 12, 2013 11:11 AM

                                                      I do use the players card. Yeah I realized why you were making the statement, I just also love the view up there. Definitely not my favorite crowd in the world but an early evening sunset drink is pretty spectacular. I like to take friends who are visiting there during summer.

                                                      1. re: MVNYC
                                                        jrvedivici Jul 12, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                        I've never had a problem with the crowd, it's typical NYC trendy night spot crowd. I was there this past Sat. night I didn't finish dinner across the street till close to midnight, I got stuck paying the minimum bottle price to get a table. Then surprise, surprise once you got up stairs there were plenty of open tables. Oh good ole NYC nightlife.

                                                        I use to go to the rooftop at the Gansevort(?) Hotel in the meat packing district either before or after dinner at Old Homestead. I haven't been in awhile though.....I prefer the 5th ave combo much better.

                                                        1. re: jrvedivici
                                                          MVNYC Jul 20, 2013 08:04 AM

                                                          I suppose this is why we differ. As a native NYC guy I would never in a million years go to a place with botttle service, that to me is not typical NYC nightlife.

                                                  2. re: jrvedivici
                                                    Bada Bing Jul 12, 2013 08:02 AM

                                                    @jrvedivici re: my handle: I've come to regret "Bada Bing" with time, because it was actually a quite random idea I generated after several frustrating messages on registering that the handles I'd proposed were already taken: I was just watching Sopranos at the time, and it came to me.

                                                    It does make me wonder sometimes what image of me it generates for people on this site. I guess you could do worse. But I'm 50 and have never yet been in a Gentleman's Club or on the Shore!

                                                    1. re: Bada Bing
                                                      jrvedivici Jul 12, 2013 09:40 AM

                                                      Yes, it was the Soprano's connection (assumed) that endeared you to me immediately. lol Are you from NJ?

                                                      **Edit, ignore the NJ question I just ready your road food post.

                                        2. a
                                          alex1018 Jul 12, 2013 07:57 AM

                                          so here's my advice: go to jean-georges for lunch. It's $38 for two courses, and you can add additional courses for $19. It comes with amuses-bouche, bread, minardises for dessert (including a cool thing where they cut a marshmellow with scissors that your son will love). The service is impeccable. You will be totally in place wearing jackets. And you can go crazy on food and not break the bank if you aren't drinking, and then walk it off in central park. It's a great day in the city, an amazing introduction to *** michelin food, and the best deal in the city.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: alex1018
                                            Bada Bing Jul 20, 2013 08:29 AM

                                            Thanks, here. This is a solid idea. I appreciate the detail about marshmallow theater, too! At prices like those, we can manage to do a few such places.

                                          2. Bada Bing Jul 20, 2013 07:50 AM

                                            With thanks to all who've responded so thoughtfully and helpfully: I've decided that doing lunch at Le Bernardin on a Weds. (August 14) is our pick for a splurge into high class. Their website doesn't seem to include menus, which with seafood, especially, I'm sure they want to keep flexible about. So much the better. We're eager to be surprised.

                                            Whatever the price might be will not be a dealbreaker for me, but I am curious. What does this kind of place cost at lunch? Does the restaurant offer prix fixe and a-la-carte options at lunch or is it a fixed-menu kind of place? (Keep in mind we probably won't have wine, or maybe a glass of white, if they do that.)

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Bada Bing
                                              k
                                              kathryn Jul 20, 2013 08:20 AM

                                              http://le-bernardin.com/menus/#lunch

                                              Lunch Menu

                                              Prix-Fixe $75 – 3 courses

                                              1. re: kathryn
                                                Bada Bing Jul 20, 2013 08:26 AM

                                                Sweet! Thank you!

                                            2. Bada Bing Jul 20, 2013 08:34 AM

                                              I'll add into the mix that our first certain day in NYC will be August 13, which happens to be the last day of "restaurant week NYC." For anyone who has the patience, is there a place on this long list you'd strongly urge us to try for dinner that last night, or maybe lunch that day:

                                              http://www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek

                                              I do note that none of the restaurants that people have mentioned in this thread pop up on this list. ALl I can make of it is that some iron chef type places--Po, Esca, Morimoto--are familiar names to me from TV!

                                              I know that one poster uplist mentioned Park Avenue Summer and also the restaurant week deals. Thanks!

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: Bada Bing
                                                k
                                                kathryn Jul 20, 2013 08:53 AM

                                                Restaurant Week is a marketing program meant to drum up business at slow times of year. The prices they charge have not really kept up with inflation, so you basically end up with wedding food-esque menus that aren't representative of what the kitchen can really do, crammed restaurants, overworked staff, and a poor experience overall.

                                                Many great restaurants have dropped out over the years and the "creme de la creme" do not participate at all.

                                                The best RW places are going to be already fully booked. The ones who do it well typically do lunch ONLY and offer a prix fixe lunch year round.

                                                If you want to participate, book ASAP & check out the menu beforehand to make sure you won't be stuck with "chicken or salmon" types of choices. If the RW menu isn't composed of dishes from the regular menu, beware.

                                                1. re: kathryn
                                                  Bada Bing Jul 20, 2013 09:23 AM

                                                  Nice advice. This is one place that caught my eye, Hakkasan New York, and their RW menu does draw from the regular one, it seems:

                                                  http://www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek#h...

                                                  1. re: Bada Bing
                                                    p
                                                    Pookipichu Jul 21, 2013 08:35 PM

                                                    I've had Hakkasan's restaurant week menu items. The food is exceptional but be advised that the portions are delicate. If you have a hearty appetite, you would most likely need to supplement the meal with appetizers or a shared entree.

                                                    1. re: Pookipichu
                                                      Bada Bing Jul 22, 2013 05:43 AM

                                                      So this pushes further the old remark that you get hungry again 30 minutes after Chinese: here you get hungry when you pay the bill!

                                                      1. re: Bada Bing
                                                        p
                                                        Pookipichu Jul 22, 2013 08:10 AM

                                                        Well at least there's no danger of leaving the restaurant feeling bloated ;)

                                                    2. re: Bada Bing
                                                      melpy Jul 21, 2013 08:51 PM

                                                      Have not done RW at Hakkasan but did do dim sum for lich with a friend. Ordered approximately 8 items and shared. High quality and I retesting atmosphere. Felt very posh.

                                                    3. re: kathryn
                                                      b
                                                      Bkeats Jul 22, 2013 05:22 AM

                                                      Kathryn, great description of RW. That is why I don't go to places that are participating in RW. Even if its a place I would normally go to, the crowds that follow RW make it a less than optimal experience.

                                                  2. Bada Bing Aug 13, 2013 01:58 PM

                                                    I want to report here in gratitude to those who have weighed in generously. My son and I had our lunch at Le Bernardin earlier today. I think it was the best restaurant meal either of us has ever had. We had a pris fixe lunch menu, with starters, a main, and a dessert. I got a glass of white Meursault to accompany.

                                                    I won't itemize the foods unless someone expresses special interest. But I can say that it's been quite some time since I've had food courses so full of flavor that I'm still tasting and savoring them many minutes after the plate is removed. And everything proceeded so fluidly, and our pleasure in the food was so intense, that time really flew for us. I asked my son how long we'd been there, and he said it was close to an hour at that point, although it felt like half the time. Great experience!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Bada Bing
                                                      k
                                                      kathryn Aug 13, 2013 02:16 PM

                                                      Thanks for reporting back! Glad you had a nice lunch.

                                                      1. re: Bada Bing
                                                        jrvedivici Aug 14, 2013 06:43 AM

                                                        The only thing better than the food, was the company. Enjoy my friend. Keep updating us. Thanks for sharing.

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