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Anniversary Trip to NYC - Please comment on itinerary

My wife and I will be heading to NYC in October for 4 nights (Wed - Sun), staying at the Refinery Hotel on 38th. I'm trying to get a mix of iconic New York eateries while peppering in some casual places as well.

Itinerary is as follows:

Wednesday:
Lunch
Shake Shack
Dinner
Ushiwaka Maru, Sushi Yasuda, or Tanoshi

Thursday:
Lunch
Luke's Lobster or Joe's for a slice
Dinner
Gramercy or Minetta

Friday:
Lunch
Del Posto prix fixe
Dinner (casual)
Szechuan Gourmet, Xi'an Famous Food or Spicy Village

Saturday:
Lunch
Momofuku Noodle or Ssam
Dinner
Le Bernadin

Sunday:
Breakfast
Russ & Daughters
Lunch
Gray's Papaya

Other suggestions welcome. Thanks!

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  1. Yasuda is great. Del Posto is maybe the best meal I ever had. Gray's let me down, as did all the hot dogs in NYC, but I'm a southern boy. Union Square Cafe is great, and for pizza you could throw in a granny slice at Bleeker St. Sunday at Red Hook park for latin street food.

    6 Replies
    1. re: relaxandreflect

      Can you do Momofuku and Le Bernadin in the same day? after a meal at Momofuku, you may be too full to enjoy the meal at Le Bernadin.

      1. re: Monica

        Yeah, that's a good point. I might flip lunch Saturday with Thursday. Try and do something light. We plan on doing the chef's tasting so I definitely don't want to ruin that experience.

        1. re: McGruff

          I had the same thought that it could be too much in one day.
          Fyi your hotel is very close to culture espresso bar (72 w38th st) if you are looking for a good coffee.
          I would also recommend stopping at one of the "hot nuts" vendors for a classic nyc sweet and salty snack, i love the cashews for a plane snack

          1. re: McGruff

            I think you could do it if you ate lunch around noon and then did the Le Bernardin dinner at 7 or 8pm. I didn't find my tasting menu at Le Bernardin to be really heavy or anything, either.

            Note: Le Bernardin takes reservations on the FIRST business day of every month for the ENTIRE month after. So call on Sept 2 for your October dinner to get a good time. Do not rely on OpenTable.

            1. re: McGruff

              I thought you would get too full only if you went to Momofuku Ko. I don't see why you shouldn't be able to do a full dinner after having lunch at Ssam Bar.

          2. re: relaxandreflect

            Momofuku Noodle or Ssam bar for lunch followed by Le Bernardin in the evening shouldn't be a problem. I'd agree that Ko and Le Bernardin may be overkill.

            I'd skip Gray's Papaya on Sunday though, totally not worth it. Which X'ian Famous Foods were you considering visiting? Not many of them have much seating, or are very comfortable to dine in IMO.

          3. The lobster rolls at Luke's are fairly small, I'd share one and then go to Motorino for pizza. It's a very short walk.

            For something very "New York-y" I'd choose Minetta over Gramercy Tavern. I assume you'll be ordering their wonderful cote de boeuf.

            I'd choose Momofuku Ssam over Momofuku Noodle. I assume you know that weekend lunch is a different menu from weekday lunch.
            http://momofuku.com/new-york/ssam-bar...

            1. for sushi, i'd rather go to 15 East or Yasuda (make sure to sit at the bar) than any of those places. Tanoshi is only about 20% cheaper than 15 East (excluding BYOB) and its service was soooo much worse--closer to your average Chinese restaurant than a high end sushi joint. Ushi I got a bit of bone in my fish!

              Also consider going for high end sushi at lunch since it will be much less busy then. You can chill out and shoot the breeze with the chef and then get Shake Shack at night instead--the lines won't be too bad in October for dinner.

              Luke's is good but not special. I'd rather get a slice at Joe's or Artichoke or Blecker St. Pizza in West Village. Better yet Motorino or Keste (whole pies only).

              Minetta is pretty good but quite the scene. If you're not fixated on steak I'd recommend Carbone instead for a really classic NYC Italian American experience with high end bonafides.

              Del Posto is alright at lunch price but I think Aldea is better for similar high end mediterranean (portuguese) food. Xian is great but it's not much more than a hole in the wall so it won't be that comfy if that's a concern.

              Definitely do Ssam over Noodle--much more interesting food. The duck lunch but it's great and a good value. Le B can't go wrong--definitely get the wine pairing--Aldo Sohm is the god of NYC wine, hands down.

              I'd recommend Katz over Gray's Papaya because good pastrami can't be beat.

              1. Well I can't say I hate your list, but you are coming to NYC , you could do better.
                Shake Shack for lunch to me is a waste of time, what about Katz's for lunch.
                For Sushi Dinner my picks would be 15 East, Blue Ribbon Izakaya, Ichimura
                Joe;s for a slice , hmmm , why? go to Motorino and get a pie, they aren't that big. For a slice I'd go to Gran Daisy or Sullivan Street, or for a Joe's type slice i'd go to Ben's.
                Luke's is so small and not really great, if you want a lobster roll maybe go to Ed's.
                I have no issues with your Friday choices.
                Saturday I could live with too but Ippudo would be better than Momofuko Noodle.
                Sunday, are you planning on eating in a park or something? Russ and daughters is not a restaurant. Maybe go to Zucker's for that type of breakfast, or Barney Greengrass ( haven't been there in years , not sure if they are still in business)
                Papaya King is better than Gray's but I would call that a mid day snack, and have lunch at a better place like Walker's for a burger.
                Other suggestions, Porchetta,( lunch or snack), Jungsik for nice dinner, Koreatown for lunch, or dim sum in Chinatown,
                Osteria Morini for Italian or Bar Pitti, Katz's anytime any meal.
                Pig and Khao for a variety of Asian food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  For Sushi, I like Sushi Zen for tranquility and taste, but what I am really here to say is that I would I would pick a good Korean place over any of the Szechuan places you are considering. I've not eaten at Gaonnuri, so others may have the last word on this, but it might be right for an anniversary celebration for what I hear is a great view plus nice Korean food.

                  http://www.gaonnurinyc.com/authentic_...

                  Since you are staying so close to the Kinokuniya bookstore opposite Bryant Park on Sixth Ave, I'll toss in the suggestion that you go to Cafe Zaiya upstairs for quick and quirky lunch on your farewell Sunday, rather a hot dog.

                  http://www.zaiyany.com/store/kinokuniya/

                  (or there is even the quirkier Mmm...Enfes if you want to grab something exotic to go and eat in the lovely park

                  http://midtownlunch.com/2013/02/07/ou...

                  If you find yourself needing a strong coffee and pick-me up treat, Le Pain Quotidien at 40th & Sixth Ave is handy to your hotel.

                2. Looks like you're hitting all the well known places... From a locals POV.

                  I'd skip Russ & Daughters and Grays and just do Shopsin (alt: Boulton Watts/Jane/Clinton St Bakery) for Breakfast/Brunch.

                  Wasn't a fan of Grammercy or Minetta either.. Summit for drinks and then something like Arcane down the street.

                  For Friday, would also consider Cafe Mogador, Hunan Manor, Malai Marke. I have friends who love Xi'an but I've never been rocked by it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rottyguy

                    btw- for the slice, try the ultra thin crust at Gruppos in EV. Prolly not much else like it anywhere.